Standard Aviation, Inc.

Mark White and Cessona 340
Mark White and Cessona 340

In 1981 the company formed a new division to enable the corporate staff to service its expanding operations. After a test flight with Mark White to Cresson, Pa to visit Greg Gould’s laboratory, Mark was hired and commissioned to find an appropriate aircraft. During the first several months a temporary plane was utilized but soon Mark had acquired a Cessna 340P, cabin-class twin engine with seating for 6 people. The ”P” was for pressurized interior and the plane’s flight range was sufficient to provide easy coverage of the Appalachian and Mid-American coal fields as well as the major cities and commercial centers in the eastern part of the United States.

Mark operated the plane under Part 135 of the FAA regulations to insure that company personal were benefited by the strictest protocols regarding maintenance (which was to provide the highest standards for safety). In addition to being a pilot Mark was also an aircraft certified mechanic; a skill he acquired under his service in Vietnam.

After a couple of years and with the accumulation of a lot of data on usage and costs, the company decided to sell one half of the plane and accompanying operations to Kanawha Valley Bank, the largest private bank in West Virginia. This arrangement lasted for several years until Kanawha Valley decided to purchase its own aircraft to meet its increased requirements. Thereafter, Standard Aviation entered into a partnership with Spilman and Thomas, a leading law firm headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia.

Standard Aviation served Standard Labs well over the course of seventeen years with Mark White overseeing its operations. This division allowed the company to expand its geographic operations from 9 to about 30 labs, from a regionally recognized lab to a nationally recognized lab, and from a small company into a medium sized company with nearly 500 employees.

However, in the late 1990s a recession in the coal industry forced Std Labs to cut back on its expenditures and it was decided to sell its one half share to Spilman and Thomas. Mark White was retained by Spilman although he later moved to another position with the Marvin Masters Law Firm.