Castle Aviation Administration

employee 176

Michael H. Grossmann

Founder/President/Director of Operations –

While he was an infant, Michael H. Grossmann and his family left his birthplace in Germany to live in the United States. As a youngster, Michael and his family lived near the Buffalo International Airport in New York. Some of his earliest memories are of spending Sunday afternoons at the airport watching the planes. In 1978, he took his first flying lesson, making his dream to fly a reality.

In a few short years, Michael had earned all his ratings except the A.T.P. (Airline Transport Pilot) and had landed a position as 1st officer flying a King Air and a MU2. By 1985, Michael’s hobby had become a career. He had served as a firefighter and EMT for the Boardman, Ohio Fire Department for ten years. However, decided to leave that position to pursue flying full time.

Since 1978, Mr. Grossmann has accumulated over 18,000 documented flight hours. He is a charter pilot, and has been both a corporate pilot and a commuter airline pilot. He currently holds an Airline Transport Pilot License for single engine and multi-engine airplanes. In 2005, he received his type rating in a Beechjet 400, 400A, MU300, Cessna Citation (525), and Boeing 747.

He has also been involved with the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) since 1997. First, he served on the air charter committee. In 2001, he became the chairman of the air cargo sub-committee. He was nominated to be on the board of directors in 2005, and voted in to serve a three-year term there in March of 2005.

In 2006, the Northeast Ohio Pilots Association gave Mr. Grossmann the Meritorious Service Award for his outstanding support of aviation in northeast Ohio.

Michael Grossmann is also the founder and president of Castle Aviation, a propeller aircraft aviation company that has been providing private, safe and convenient passenger and cargo transportation for thirty-three years. The desire to create Castle Aviation came to him in 1984. Michael had a vision: create a business that could quickly and safely move time-sensitive packages, when a traditional ground-based shipper just wouldn’t do.

Castle began by flying chartered cargo operations out of Ohio’s Portage County Airport. In its earliest years, Mr. Grossmann’s company transported sick and injured people under the name Air Medical Transport, Inc. He also operated a management/pilot service contract for a Piper Navajo. Michael changed the company’s name to Castle Aviation in 1986, when he began focusing on other areas of flight operations. In 1990, he opened a flight school and FBO (Fixed Base Operation) at the Akron Fulton International Airport. Under his direction, Castle Aviation became one of the largest flight schools in northeast Ohio.

Having grown and changed for over a quarter century, Castle Aviation now focuses on three main areas of expertise: executive passenger transportation; priority freight; and aircraft maintenance.


Castle Charter provides private, safe and convenient air transportation for businesses and people that need to fly cost effectively. It does this while still providing the flexibility of chartering. Castle owns three passenger-dedicated propeller aircraft (jet-props and pistons). Michael says, “We may be a little slower and a little noisier, but we are far more cost effective compared to any jet aircraft.” His focus is on providing impeccable services that cater to these exiting times and the changing economy.


Castle Air Cargo is the priority freight division of Castle Aviation. Michael believes in a 24/7 approach to critical and routine freight, while providing fast, reliable air freight delivery for his customers. Castle Air Cargo is HAZMAT approved and certified to fly in all types of weather conditions. Aircraft can be ready to launch within one hour of a customer’s call and can fly into more than 5,000 U.S. airports, big or small.


Castle Aircraft Maintenance began in 2009, when Castle Aviation assumed responsibility for aircraft maintenance at the Akron Fulton International Airport. Now based at the Akron-Canton Airport, Castle provides maintenance services and support to private, corporate and flight school aircraft owners. Castle’s mechanics utilize a fully equipped 12,000 square foot facility, and are qualified to work on anything from Cessna Caravans to Boeing 747s.


In just thirty-three years, Castle Aviation has become a go-to air charter operation for many businesses such as Purolator, DHL, Global First, FedEx, and American Airlines. Even Mr. Grossmann was startled by Castle’s rapid success in the aviation industry. He said, “I couldn’t have ever imagined being a top carrier and a triple threat (charter, cargo, and maintenance) in the aviation industry.” Castle now regularly flies everything from donor organs, to clothing, to rare animals in need. They also fly passengers across the eastern and central United States, in addition to performing maintenance services for other aviation companies.

Aside from creating jobs and operating a fleet of over a dozen aircraft, Castle Aviation is also proud to aid in volunteer efforts. Michael Grossman and the Castle Aviation staff have serviced nearly six dozen flights for the Veterans Airlift Command. Each flight is provided free of charge to a wounded United States military veteran or their families, resulting in many happy reunions and specialized medical treatments that would otherwise be impossible. Mr. Grossman stated, “When I am called to duty, it is my pleasure to help these wonderful American heroes. These men/women and their families have fought so hard for our country, it is the least I can do.”

Michael Grossmann’s aviation career, which started with a flying lesson in 1978, has resulted in a multimillion-dollar company and thousands of happy customers. Castle Aviation has established itself as a reliable and trustworthy name in the aviation industry. Today, Castle Aviation is still going strong, and not even the sky is the limit. As Mr. Grossmann now believes, “No dream is ever too big.”

employee 174

Hilda Grossmann

Julie Thomas

Accountant / Controller –

Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, Julie Thomas had dreamed of being a “rich and famous” model. When modeling didn’t pan out, she took on her other passion as an accountant. Mrs. Julie Thomas pursued her goals when she received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Akron University. Julie found a home at Castle Aviation where she has worked 12 years with the Castle family. As the accountant for Castle, Julie maintains the financial records (paying bills, creating invoices, preparing reports, reconciling bank statements, etc.) on a day to day basis. In 2007, Julie proudly received the “Employee of the Year” award! 

Even though Julie says her hidden talent is still hiding, we all know she is very talented at what she does at Castle Aviation. 

When asked how Julie balances her career at Castle and family, she said, “Easy. I told my family that my job is more important than them. But seriously, Castle is willing to let me set my own work hours for the most part.” On her days off, Julie loves to hike, bike ride, play cards, enjoy board games and she loves going to dinner with friends. We also asked Julie what she simply could not resist in life and she said, “being sarcastic and a smooth glass of wine!”

Mrs. Thomas’s advice to all prospective Castle Aviation candidates is to “expect to work hard and have fun doing it.” She also says that working at Castle is a great way for pilots to gain experience. Julie happily concludes, “if plan A fails, remember you have 25 letters left!”

Mindy Thomas

Human Resources –

Mindy is very excited to join Castle Aviation as the first official Human Resources Administrator. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from The Ohio State University in December 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and has been working in Human Resources/Administrative Assistant roles for the past two years. When she’s not working, she likes to run, play volleyball, and bake. She also enjoys playing games with family and spending time with friends.

Nicholas Gorham

Chief Dispatcher and Passenger Coordinator –

Ed Korres

Dispatcher –

Tommy Englert

Dispatcher –

John Small

Dispatcher –


Director of Marketing –

Vanessa is a 2012 graduate of Oklahoma State University who triple- majored in Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing. As a college freshman, she retained her private pilot certification, where she grew to love the aviation industry. A year after college, Vanessa also attained her personal training certification.

Ms. Cicora takes on all the marketing responsibilities for the Castle Aviation team. Aside from marketing, Vanessa also helps as a passenger concierge, where she assists customers to and from flights to make their time with Castle as enjoyable as possible. Vanessa says, “A simple smile can go a long, long way”. Lastly, as a pilot-in-training, Vanessa was inspired to get back into her aviation role by Michael Grossman. She says “Michael Grossman is a one-of-a-kind boss that always exemplifies positive energy!”

Aside from her roll at Castle, Vanessa also has her own photography business. Vanessa also coaches girls Varsity softball for North Akron High School. She says photography and coaching are her greatest passions! She is also grateful her job at Castle Aviation allows her to fit all the activities she values into her lifestyle.

Vanessa loves working with the whole Castle family and she cannot wait to provide more to the whole Castle team! Ms. Cicora concludes, “The sky is the limit.”

Brian Novak

Passenger Flight Coordinator –