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Longtime Aviation Innovator, Executive to Lead Jacksonville Flight School

Wayne C. Heller to take school to ‘higher level’ as Chief Executive Officer

Sterling Flight Training, Jacksonville, FL-based flight school formerly owned by Malone Air, announced new ownership today as the flight school seeks to elevate and expand its capabilities to help address the growing worldwide shortage of pilots.

Wayne C. Heller, CEO

Wayne C. Heller, an airline operations executive with over 30 years of experience, will serve as Sterling’s new CEO. Heller along with Wexford Capital LP acquired Sterling Flight Training in late December 2018.

“Sterling Flight Training is a beloved institution, and is extremely well-positioned to help match the goals and dreams of those seeking careers in aviation,” Heller said. “We are doubling down on the strengths Sterling brings to the industry as well as further refining Sterling’s programs to foster and develop “airline-ready” employees. The company is sharply focused on creating career opportunities both through and at the flight training school.”

The flight school provides FAA- and VA-approved flight training courses and programs to equip its students with all the necessary licenses, ratings and certifications to begin their aviation careers while providing access to the most current training materials and methods. Additionally, Sterling’s formal affiliation with Liberty University via its Aeronautics Program allows access to degree programs and student financing for professional pilot training.

“The elements required for offering premium flight education are already in place at Sterling,” Heller said. “Our focus for the future is to further enhance our capabilities to dramatically grow the number of successful Sterling graduates who will benefit from the well-paid and highly in demand jobs.”

Heller, who served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Republic Airways from 1999 to 2015, was the chief architect of a strategic growth plan that focused on recruiting and training thousands of airline pilots to support a rapidly expanding organization. Heller led the company’s transformation from operating a handful of Saab 340 aircraft to nearly 300 Embraer, Bombardier and Airbus jet aircraft. It was also during this time that Heller introduced several training initiatives to enhance the quality of Republic Airway’s pilot training programs as well as help establish Republic Airway’s one of the nation’s safest airlines.

Alex Osleger, a veteran airline pilot and airline operations executive who worked with Heller at Republic Airways, serves as the school’s new general manager. Additionally, Scott Malone, founder and previous owner, continues as the school’s chief flight instructor. Together, Heller, Osleger and Malone bring almost 100 years of airline/aviation knowledge and experience to Sterling providing immediate connections to airline opportunities around the globe for Sterling graduates.


About Sterling Flight Training

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Sterling Flight Training offers comprehensive flight training education and services both independently and in affiliation with Liberty University’s Aeronautics Program. With a commitment to total excellence and integrity in aviation, Sterling continually invests in its privately owned and maintained fleet of aircraft and flight simulators. Sterling is also a Cessna Pilot Center, with courses that are FAA- and VA-approved. The school offers discovery flights for those interested in pursuing careers in aviation, and also serves as an FAA Knowledge Testing facility. To learn more, visit www.sterlingflight.com


About Wayne C. Heller

Wayne C. Heller proudly serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Flight Training, continuing a highly successful, four decades-long career in aviation operations. Wayne retired as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from Republic Airways Holdings in 2015. Republic Airways was a holding company that owned up to six regional and low cost airlines. During Wayne’s tenure, Republic grew from a small turboprop operation to the nation’s second largest regional airline, later acquiring and operating Frontier Airlines and Midwest Express Airlines.  In his new role, Wayne will be working to ensure that instructors and students at Sterling are prepared for successful lifelong careers in aviation, while continuing to serve the industry as a board member and advisor to numerous airlines and aviation organizations.


For media assets or to schedule an interview with Wayne C. Heller, please contact: Nancy Ortega at 305.741.3738 or by email at nortega@wbradford.com