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Mark Richardson, Chief Operating Officer

Mark "Woody" Richardson, Chief Operating Officer

Woody is a shareholder, board member and serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Grant Aviation. Woody has over 30 years professional aviation experience, including aircraft design, construction, maintenance, operations and piloting. At the age of 13, he began his pilot training before he could even legally drive a car. Woody obtained his FAA Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic licenses and degree in Aeronautical Maintenance Technology from East Coast Aero Technical School (ECAT) and his commercial pilot licenses for airplanes and helicopters at Flight Safety International Academy in Vero Beach, FL. He later obtained an Airline Transport Pilot rating. 

Woody’s first job in aviation was as a mechanic for the largest US regional passenger airline at the time, where he learned the value of organization, systems and fleet standardization for a company with operations spanning from Maine to Florida. Woody worked his way up in maintenance and eventually served as the Director of Maintenance for a Part 91/135 airline.   

Later, as a charter pilot for an airline in Washington state, he was tasked with delivering a multi-million-dollar satellite downlink station to the community of Kotzebue, Alaska. On his return flight, he stopped in the village of Emmonak, where his talents were immediately recognized by the owner of the then struggling Delta Air Service and he was asked to join the company.

Realizing the potential of this up-and-coming airline, Woody jumped in with both feet and has been an integral part of Grant Aviation’s expansion over the years. He was instrumental in obtaining air ambulance authority and partnering with LifeMed to make Grant Aviation one of the busiest air ambulance operations in Alaska. He has served as a Line Pilot, Director of Maintenance, Chief Pilot, Director of Operations, and currently holds the position of Chief Operating Officer. 

Woody’s spouse is also an over achiever. She has a Master’s Degree in the medical field and is a top producer for an Anchorage real estate firm. Together they have 5 children. When time permits Woody enjoys traveling to warmer climates. His hobbies include cooking and the mechanical fabrication of ‘stuff.’   

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