ASA Under New Ownership


Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. (ASA) is announcing new ownership by General Manager and President, Mike Lorden. ASA provides trusted aviation training products to flight instructors, aviation maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, pilots, and students. The announcement promises continued growth based on a proven track record.

Mr. Lorden says, “ASA has been a Pacific Northwest company for more than 76 years. When I started, we were publishing the 1st Edition of Bob Gardner’s The Complete Private Pilot textbook. Last month we released the 12th edition of that title. When I started we had around 50 products; working with a fantastic team of industry experts, we now have more than 750. After looking at an ad we were running on our FAR/AIM, a sales rep said to me ‘Your products are boring…aren’t books going away?’ Our FAR/AIM has been in print for more than 70 years—that’s not boring. Not only do books continue to serve those seeking information, our customers are finding our content in the form of software, apps, and online courses.

Our Test Preps have been helping aviators prepare for their tests for more than 60 years. I recently bought one of our first Test Guides at a used book store—on the inside front cover it was stamped, ‘Owned by the Federal Aviation Administration.’ These test books have been serving both industry and government well for a long time. I’m proud to have been a part of this family-run business for the last 31 years. At a time when manned and unmanned aircraft are flying higher-faster-further and lower-slower-lighter, and people are looking for instant information, the need is greater than ever for credible, authentic training materials. I am excited to take the helm and build on our foundation of quality and superior customer service. My team and I are ready to continue supporting the training needs of aviators around the globe.”

ASA was started as Merrell Aviation Ground School by Creighton Merrell in 1940. The company’s primary goal soon became the training of post-war military pilots returning from active duty to work in the early civilian airlines. Plotters, regulations and training manuals were the first products. In 1960, the company broadened its production and development efforts with additional pilot supplies and books added to the ground school training line. In 1969, the company became Northwest School of Aviation under a new owner, Roy Beech. The company’s goal was the franchise of the popular Merrell 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 the company again broadened its product line to add cassette courses and new books and training materials.

The company was incorporated in 1977. In 1981, Joe Finelli joined the organization, bringing 20 years of experience in printing and publishing with him. Publishing and manufacturing has since become the principal company mission. ASA products are used worldwide in all training environments: ICAO, CAA, FAA Part 61/141/147, manufacturers training, colleges, universities, STEM/magnet programs, ab initio training, general aviation airports, and aviators everywhere for self-study. ASA is the leading publisher of aviation books and the largest producer of pilot supplies in the United States today.