MICCO Back In Business

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The driving force behind a native American bid to enter the small aircraft business has decided to go it alone. James E. Billie, who went by Chief Jim Billie when he was chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, has taken over all the assets, including type certificate, of the Micco Aircraft Inc. He's renamed it MICCO Aircraft Company Inc. and is moving the operation from Ft. Pierce, Fla., to Bartlesville, Okla. "I just couldn't see this aircraft not being built," Billie said in a news release. "It hurt after all the effort of the MICCO team and the funding of the Tribe, to see it 'thrown away.'" Although the SP26, a fast aerobatic two-seater base on the 1950's era Meyers 200, was certified in 2000, it never really made it into significant production. Billie has diversified the Oklahoma operation by including a TECNAM light sport aircraft dealership and flight school as well as an FAA-approved repair station. He said many of the people, mostly native Americans, who worked on the Micco in Florida will make the move to Bartlesville and Billie said he hopes to involve local native Americans in the Oklahoma project. F. DeWitt Beckett, who was president of the Florida operation, will resume that post in Bartlesville and his wife Decki will look after marketing.