TGH Aviation History
TGH Aviation was founded fifty five years ago
TGH Aviation was first established as The Gyro House in 1957. We started out as a general aviation gyro repair shop and today our company has expanded into sales and repair of a full range of aircraft instruments.
Put our experience to work for you
TGH Aviation grew up with the aerospace industry and we have expertise beyond general aviation to commercial aviation and military aviation. Our technical staff applies their nearly 400 years of combined aircraft instrument experience, knowledge and expertise to provide our worldwide customer with industry leading service.
Our FAA-approved repair facility can get you back in the air
Since 1972, TGH Aviation has been located at the Auburn Municipal Airport (KAUN) located in Auburn California where we maintain an FAA-approved (Part 145) repair facility. TGH has a wide range of expertise in the overhaul of standard panel instruments, auto pilot gyros, remote gyros, flap position transmitters, and test equipment. We are a recognized industry leader in the overhaul of Fuel Flow Transmitters with an onsite fuel flow calibration lab. TGH also designs and manufactures Flight Surface Position Transmitters, Flight Deck Electrical Controllers, and Aerospace Related Test Equipment.
Quality is our number one goal at TGH Aviation
TGH maintains a rigorous Quality Control program and employs a full time Quality Control manager. Our shop meets or exceeds all industry standards for technical excellence.
TGH is both FAA and EASA certified with the following ratings:
· Instrument Classes 1,2,3,4
· Radio Classes 1,2,3L
· Accessory Limited
· Airframe Limited
TGH is American Owned and Veteran Led
TGH is a Veteran-owned company that employs growth-oriented, forward-thinking management. Our company staff works hard every day to build on our reputation and to improve our industry stature and presence. Our mission is to provide our customers with the highest quality products, overhauls and repairs all delivered with premiere customer service.
Our Repair Facility located at the Auburn Municipal Airport in Auburn California
TGH Aviation is located just off the runaway of the Auburn Municipal Airport (KAUN). Our repair facility is located at 2389 Rickenbacker Way, Auburn CA 95602. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (PST).
Auburn, California is located in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of Northern California. It makes sense to take a short flight that puts you in beautiful Auburn for your repairs where you are above the drizzling fog and below the snow!
TGH Aviation maintains a comfortable pilot’s lounge at the airport with amenities including cable television, computer access, and weather information, plus a retail shop. Pilots are welcome to relax in our lounge while repairs are being made or any time you fly in to the Auburn Airport. The airport is also host to one of Auburn’s best cafés, “Wings”, located right next door to our pilot’s lounge.
If you really want to enjoy your time in Auburn, no more than a half mile down the airport road is a championship golf course named, “The Ridge” offering a world-class golf experience. Call ahead and we’ll arrange for you to be picked up by the golf course staff when you arrive. Several local rental car companies will come to the airport to pick you up if you’d like to explore the historic Auburn area while your repairs are made.
Emery “Claude” Oxley, Sr. gained extensive experience in the aviation industry during his work with Pioneer Instruments, Inc. and Eastern Airlines before he established TGH.
Claude was an entrepreneur at heart so he went to work for himself and founded TGH in his garage in 1957. He called his new business, “The Gyro House”, today known as TGH Aviation. Claude’s success soon forced him to expand and he moved TGH out of his garage and into a facility at Flabob Airport, just west of Riverside. Claude’s’ reputation for quality work kept new clients coming in the door and not long after relocating to Flabob, he needed to expand once again. In 1960, Claude moved TGH to the Riverside Municipal Airport.
These early years were critical to the long term success of TGH and Claude skillfully led the growing company. He built a foundation for the future by developing the TGH reputation as a top quality aircraft instrument repair facility with superior customer service. Throughout Claude’s tenure, TGH specialized in general aviation gyroscopes, airspeed indicators and altimeters.
This is a picture of Claude in 1962 outside the Gyro House office at the Riverside, CA Arlington Airport.
Father to Son
Claude built a family while he was building a company and his son Emery C. Oxley, Jr. joined the Marine Corps to serve his country before coming home to join his father’s company. Emery first joined the company after he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1963. Emery was afforded the opportunity to learn instrument repair and overhaul from the bench up by working for his father Claude. This experience and mentoring eventually provided Emery the confidence and skill to establish and manage his own company. Today, Emery serves as TGH’s CEO but he didn’t earn that title overnight.
In 1968 Emery identified a potential business partner and together they founded Pacific Southwest Instruments at Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix, Arizona (Not connected to the current Pacific Southwest Instruments of Corona, CA.).
In time, Emery realized that to achieve his goals he’d have to find a partner who shared the same passion he did for the business. In a short time, the partnership was dissolved on mutually agreeable terms and Emery continued to develop the fledgling company independently.
To balance the books until the company became viable, he returned to work part time with Claude at TGH (The Gyro House).
This is a picture of The Gyro House repair lab in 1974 located at Auburn Airport.
Emery identified a new business partner and he developed an agreement to continue his work establishing his new company Pacific Instruments. Emery worked hard to build up the customer base while subcontracting work from other instrument shops such as Otto’s Instruments of Ontario, California. This strategy enabled Emery to earn the funding he needed to grow Pacific Instruments while gaining additional experience. Emery was moving toward his goal of expanding his company into a major force in the aviation instrument service industry. Throughout this time, Claude continued to successfully manage The Gyro House and in 1969 he moved the company to Reno, Nevada.
In 1970, Emery’s second partnership was dissolved so Emery took the opportunity to move to Reno taking Pacific Instruments with him. Emery’s company was still in the process of becoming a viable entity so he continued to work part time at The Gyro House while building his own customer and product base.
It’s All Coming Together
Emery successfully built Pacific Instruments into a profitable business and in 1972 he moved the company to Auburn, California. The Auburn Municipal Airport at the time was an inconsequential airport that held little obvious potential. Emery was convinced to move by a persuasive city manager, an offer of cheap rent and a promise that the city would erect a new building for Pacific Instruments. Emery decided that Auburn was the place to settle down to raise his family and so he moved the business back into California.
Our first showroom at the Auburn Airport in 1985.
The beautiful surroundings of Auburn also helped to seal the deal for Emery. Nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and situated on the western edge of the Tahoe National Forest, he could hardly ask for a more soothing environment. Pacific Instruments moved to the Auburn Airport and was initially housed in a small wooden building with a simple office and attached hanger all located just south of the runway centerline.
The repair facility built inside the original wooden hangar building at the Auburn Airport in 1973.
The year after Emery moved to Auburn, his father Claude approached him with a proposal to buy out The Gyro House. Claude was experiencing declining health and he had decided that it was time to retire. Emery and Claude agreed on terms and Emery purchased the assets of The Gyro House in 1973. Due to the excellent reputation his father built over the years and the name recognition of TGH, Emery adopted the name for his own company and Pacific Instruments ceased to exist.
The City of Auburn was true to their word and a new steel building was constructed for TGH. The new building was built adjacent to the existing wooden hangar occupied by TGH and Emery quickly took advantage of the opportunity to expand into the new space. The company offices and instrument shop were moved into the new facilities and TGH retained use of the hangar in order to begin expansion into the area of autopilot sales and installation.
Emery shared his father’s natural skill as an entrepreneur and by 1975 the company sought and acquired dealerships for all of the major General Aviation avionics, instruments and autopilot manufacturers. This impressive list included but was not limited to:
· King Radio (Later to become Honeywell/Bendix/King)
· Narco Radio
· Edo-Aire (Later to be broken up and its various components to become Sigma-Tek and S-Tec)
· Cessna Radio
The various dealerships and the added customer base that came with them permitted the company to continually expand its repair and overhaul capabilities. Throughout the balance of the 1970’s and into the mid 1980’s, the company continually added repair capabilities and built up a substantial inventory of “ready to go” exchange instruments.
John Perry, Emery Oxley and Mike Everett with a Piper Comanche at the Auburn Airport in 1988.
The Bold Expansion
During the late 1970s and into the 1980s, particularly during the Jimmy Carter administration, the United States suffered a severe economic downturn. General Aviation was experiencing a particularly difficult time due not only to poor economic conditions but also due to existing unfair tort laws which permitted a slew of unjustified legal actions against airframe manufacturers. These conditions brought new aircraft manufacturing almost to a standstill.
The economic downturn and tort laws created a secondary reduction of business in all areas of the aviation industry. TGH during this time period experienced a corresponding slowdown; however, Emery proved to be a shrewd and skillful manager. His foresight in diversifying the company’s product base enabled TGH to weather the slowdown.
TGH downsized and became leaner but it had survived the hard times. Throughout this period TGH built upon their reputation throughout the industry for quality products, first class service and for being “Good Guys” to work with. It was near the end of this time period that Emery negotiated a dealership agreement with R.C. Allen Co. to sell these top quality gyroscopes. He quickly sought after and successfully obtained most of the major General Aviation retailers as customers. This impressive list included Chief Aircraft, Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast among others. This bold move firmly established The Gyro House as the world’s largest distributor of General Aviation gyroscopes for the aftermarket.
Emery Finds a Leader in Kansas
In the fall of 1988, Emery attended the annual meeting of the Aircraft Instrument Association in Wichita, Kansas. It was on this trip that he met with Richard T. Anderson. Both men knew of each other by reputation but it was their first face to face meeting and one which would lead to a long and mutually beneficial business relationship.
Tired of the constant travel and wanting to spend more time with his family, Rich left Telephonics In 1985. Rich accepted an engineering position with the Gull Airborne Division of Parker Hannifin Corporation located in Smithtown, New York. It was at Gull that he became an expert in aircraft Fuel Flow and Fuel Quantity Measuring Systems. Rich’s growing expertise again required that he travel much more frequently than he desired.
By the time that Emery met Rich in 1988; Rich had established an outstanding career in both the aviation and instrument industries. Rich’s career began in September of 1971 working for Weksler Instruments of Freeport, New York, while he was still attending college classes at night. At that time, Weksler was the leading manufacturer of pressure and temperature indicating instruments for the construction industry and for the United States Navy.
Rich accepted an engineering position with Telephonics Corp. of Huntington, New York soon after completing his schooling in June of 1978. Telephonics is a major manufacturer of aerospace communication and control systems. Rich was given the primary responsibility for in-field worldwide customer support of multiplexed entertainment and communications systems installed on board Boeing 747 and Lockheed L-1011 aircraft. In addition, Rich had responsibility for providing customer support of various military systems that Telephonics manufactured. Rich’s work entailed many days of travel each year. |
Rich was offered an opportunity to manage a small aircraft instrument repair shop, Tech-Aire Instruments in Wichita, Kansas. This new challenge would enable him to reduce his travel significantly and to be involved in all aspects of business management. Rich gladly accepted the challenge. During his short tenure, Tech-Aire more than doubled in size and income. Rich was managing Tech Aire when he and Emery met in Wichita.
A Beneficial Partnership is Created
Emery and Rich knew when they met that they shared a similar desire to manage a company that would provide both constant challenge and opportunity to achieve controlled growth. Both men brought unique and complementary resources and skills to the table. Emery had extensive experience in General Aviation while Rich had extensive experience in Commercial, Corporate and Military Aviation. Emery had ready financing from his already successful company; Rich had knowledge, ideas and contacts that could make TGH grow even further. The stage was set for the two men to come together.
In 1990 Tech-Aire Instruments was acquired by a new owner and Rich decided it was time for him to move along. Emery’s instincts told him it was the opportune time to approach Rich.
Emery offered Rich a position as Chief Engineer of The Gyro House. Rich accepted with the condition that he wanted freedom to expand the company. Emery agreed to provide the financial backing needed to expand TGH into the commercial and military sectors of the industry. Rich’s ambition helped Emery realize the very goal he’d set for the company years before. Rich was the perfect person to help him accomplish it. Emery and Rich very quickly began a long and mutually beneficial relationship that continues to this day.
Rich Anderson and Emery Oxley at the AEA trade show in Reno, NV in 1990.
By 1991 Rich had already designed and built the company’s first Fuel Flow Overhaul Laboratory. Emery provided funding and support for the project. At the same time Emery was busy expanding the company’s general aviation product line and inventory. Emery’s keen vision as an entrepreneur was demonstrated again when TGH entered into the Global Positioning System (GPS) market. Emery was one of the first aviation after market entrepreneurs to realize the potential of this new product line and TGH began offering it for sale and installation as soon as they hit the market.
In 1992 the McDonnell Douglas Company asked for Rich’s assistance to design a replacement power control switch for use in the cockpit of their aging DC8 fleet. As a result of that request and the subsequent successful design effort, The Gyro House received the company’s first FAA-PMA product approval. Also in 1992 the company was awarded their first contract with the United States Air Force for the overhaul of Fuel Flow Transmitters used on board the KC-135 refueling tanker.
TGH Continues to Expand
For the remainder of the 1990s the company continued to increase product lines, expand repair capabilities, design new products and add new facilities. In 1993, Emery refurbished the old wooden hangar changing it into a completely enclosed office building. This change allowed the instrument repair shop to expand so that it soon completely filled the areas of the existing steel building, which had housed offices earlier. Constant growth of TGH left no option but to build a new facility so in 1995 Emery found himself building an entirely new two story building where he soon moved company.
By this time TGH was overhauling nearly 500 individual aircraft instruments per month. They also manufactured an original line of power switches, Flap Position Transmitters for DC10 and MD11 aircraft, Pitot/Static Test Systems, and Low Voltage Lights and Undersea Oxygen Controller Systems. TGH techs were also busy installing autopilots, avionics and GPS systems into General Aviation aircraft. TGH also built a third Fuel Flow Calibration Test Stand.
By 1995 the company had acquired a library of over 20,000 aircraft instrument maintenance manuals and had been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to service all of the associated instrument types.
Also in 1995, The Gyro House was appointed by McDonnell Douglas as the sole authorized repair facility worldwide for the MD80, MD90 and MD11 aircraft Central Aural Warning Systems and Annunciator Control Units. This was a natural outcome because Rich Anderson had designed all of the test equipment at Douglas’ request.
Emery soon offered Rich the position of Company General Manger and then the position of Corporate Vice President.
Our current facility under construction in 1995.
The Nation Suffers a Tragedy
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 had profound and terrible effects on the nation and on the aviation industry in particular. TGH was forced to retrench and downsize after this terrible event. The company suffered through three years of severely limited air travel, a worldwide recession, and dramatically increased FAA monitoring requirements. Many of the company’s customers such as small regional airlines, general aviation FBO companies, and brokerage houses, were forced to close their doors. Fortunately the combination of Emery’s financing and Rich’s managing/engineering skills kept the company viable and TGH avoided the fate of so many other aviation companies.
TGH Plans for a New Period of Growth
In 2004 TGH emerged from those difficult years as a viable, profitable organization ready to take on the world.
During this re-emergence of the company Emery and Rich restructured personnel to prepare for expansion and growth. One of the first steps was to bring on Steve Williams as the new sales and marketing manger. Upon his arrival at TGH there were immediate changes made to TGH’s corporate identity. First and foremost TGH established a web presence with the launch of the company’s new website which incorporated modern design and an eCommerce platform.
Many other marketing and customer service changes were implemented to create a better experience for our clients and to strengthen TGH’s exposure in the market place. Our goal is to not only be the industry leader in aircraft instruments and avionics, but to be the destination for information related aircraft instruments and avionics.
TGH places high priority on fiscal accountability so our accounting department is staffed with vigilant professional bookkeepers. They ensure that the company’s books are always in order and that invoices are both paid and collected in a timely manner.
TGH has developed in-house training programs that enable us to take raw recruits from local technical colleges and refine their skills in order to produce superior aircraft instrument technicians. Middle management consists of experienced personnel recruited from within the aviation industry. Our staff understands aviation customer needs and they understand how to meet them.
TGH employs youthful energetic personnel who have new thoroughly modern ideas and who are hungry for success. The company has instituted a number of employee incentive programs which reward employees when they reach personal and departmental goals through financial rewards and public recognition. TGH management has gone out of their way to make TGH a great place to go to work. Our employee morale is the highest it has ever been and the results are plainly evident in the income statement.
Emery Plans the Transition to a New Generation
Emery Oxley now holds the position of Chairman and CEO and has awarded the position of President to Rich Anderson who has assumed full responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the company. Emery still maintains an onsite office and he continues to provide guidance, advice and consultation as needed. Emery is satisfied that it is time to pass the torch on to a new and talented generation of TGH leadership.