ASA was started as Merrill Aviation by Creighton Merrill in 1947. At that time, the training of post-war pilots was the company’s primary goal. These pilots were returning from active duty and desired to work with the early civilian airlines. In 1960, the company sold its training aircraft and began concentration on “ground” training. Shortly thereafter the operation was expanded to include a retail pilot supply store.
In 1969, with the death of Creighton Merrill, the company became Northwest School of Aviation under a new owner, Roy Beech. The company’s goal was the franchise of the popular Merrill Ground School under the name “Aviation Seminars of America”... or ASA.
In November, 1976, Joe Cucchiari purchased the company. “Aviation Supplies and Academics” replaced Aviation Seminars of America as the name to go with the ASA acronym, and company goals were changed to include production of books, cassette courses and training materials. The company was incorporated in 1977. In 1981, Joe Finelli joined the organization, bringing 20 years experience in printing and publishing with him. Publishing has since become the principal course the company has taken.
In 1984, the sale of the ground school (Aviation Training and Research, Inc.) and the retail store (The Aviator’s Store) allowed all efforts to be directed towards becoming a major supplier of pilot supplies and educational material in the United States. The Aviator’s Store continues to do business at Boeing Field and is highly regarded. ASA moved to larger quarters in Georgetown in 1985, and again to our present Coal Creek location in 1990 to provide more warehouse and office space. ASA is currently owned by Mike Lorden and Nancy Finelli.
Many new products have been added to the line including Textbooks, Software, Flight Instructor Tools, Aviation Maintenance Technician materials, Logbooks, flight computers (manual E6Bs and electronic CX-2), aviation plotters, and kneeboards. Additional pilot supply items and book titles are being added as conditions warrant and opportunities arise. International distributor customers have been added as our products have gained wider acceptance around the globe.
Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. does business now as ASA to simplify and more clearly reflect the activities and nature of our business. Under the leadership of General Manager Mike Lorden, ASA is the leading publisher of aviation books and the largest producer of pilot supplies in the USA today.