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PORTLAND, Maine / March 25, 2024 / AVIATION NEWS — MAC Air Group, a premier general and corporate aviation services provider, is proud to establish the Allyn Caruso Scholarship Fund in honor of the late Allyn Jay Caruso.

Caruso—who passed away unexpectedly on March 7—was the company’s CEO and an integral member of its founding family. More than that, Caruso was a distinguished figure in the aviation community, beloved by all who met him.

The scholarship aims to support young individuals in Maine who aspire to pursue careers in aviation, carrying forward Caruso’s legacy of passion and dedication to the skies.

“The only thing Al loved as much as aviation and his family was encouraging others to become part of the aviation family,” said Brigitte Miller, MAC Air Group’s CFO. “Establishing the scholarship fund is the best way we can honor Al’s memory—encouraging young folks just as Al did, and passing on his passion for aviation and helping others.”

Those interested in contributing to the scholarship fund to help honor his memory can do so via Venmo to @MAC-AirwaysLLC or by sending a check made payable to MAC Airways LLC c/o The Allyn Caruso Scholarship fund to 100 Aviation Blvd, South Portland, ME 04106.

A Life Devoted to Family, Adventure and Aviation

Affectionately known to many as Al or AJ, Allyn Jay Caruso was born on August 15, 1949, in Bar Harbor, Maine, to Joseph and Josephine (DeMattia) Caruso. He graduated from Gorham High School, and from Hawthorne College with a degree in business management.

Al was born into an aviation family, his father and uncle having founded Bar Harbor Airlines (BHA) in 1949 and Maine Aviation Corporation in 1959. As a teenager, he fueled and washed planes on the PWM ramp for Maine Aviation, and in the summers he flew scenic flights in Bar Harbor. At 19, he became one of the youngest captains in the nation, flying for BHA. Joining the family business full time in 1971 as a pilot and Cessna sales representative, his responsibilities grew until he became president of Bar Harbor Airlines in 1981, and later of Northeast Express Regional Airlines. The following years saw a career that made the Caruso name synonymous with aviation.

During this time Al, his son, Travis and his wife, Alysan, developed the business, now known as MAC Air Group, into a complete service center for general aviation, offering jet charters, aircraft sales, management and maintenance, with a state-of-the-art fixed base operation at the Portland International Jetport. He had over 100 employees under his wing, most of whom knew him on a first-name basis. He valued their thoughts and treated each one with respect.

Al’s friendly, positive demeanor and patient manner were keys to his success, and gave him friendships and business acquaintances across the globe. He considered himself blessed to be in an industry he loved.

He was not only a CEO; at times, Al supported the company as a charter pilot. He flew business leaders, celebrities and several U.S. Presidents, taking pride in flying President George H. W. Bush several times. He also flew rock bands such as Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith, and had a treasured collection of backstage passes.

Al was type rated in five jet types and had more than 30 internationally recognized flight records. He enjoyed flying everything from single-engine planes to jets. He was a natural pilot who was comfortable in any aircraft.

He always looked for a reason to fly with friends or family. It did not matter the size of the plane, or whether it had wheels or floats. The destination could be a grass strip in Newburgh, Maine, Taco Tuesday in Acadia, Florida, or a frozen lake in Maine. He also loved to talk aviation, and fly-ins were frequent destinations. Events he never wanted to miss were the Oshkosh Air Show, SUN ‘n FUN in Lakeland, Florida, and the Greenville Seaplane Fly-In.

Of untold hours in the sky, one flight deserves special mention: In 1991, Al and his crew piloted The Spirit of Partnership, a Fairchild Metroliner III, around the world. This was a reenactment of the first round-the-world flight by Wiley Post and Harold Gatty in 1931. It took him to 16 airports in six countries, and the six legs in the Soviet Union were the first flights of an American plane over Soviet territory since World War II.

Al liked people, and never met anyone he didn’t like. He was at ease with everyone, gave you his full attention and treated you as a friend. Everyone who met him quickly realized he was a man of integrity and character. When not in the air, he was constantly on the phone, giving friends from around the world the same undivided attention. He cherished all his friendships.

Above all, family was important to Al. It was the fuel for all he did. He seldom missed a family gathering, sports event, play, dance recital or 4H cattle show. Al loved his grandchildren dearly, and they adored him. He especially enjoyed having family fly with him, leaving a legacy of both sons in aviation and two grandchildren learning to fly.

Al’s memory is carried on by his devoted wife of 45 years, Alysan; his son, Thomas, wife, Brook and grandson, Allyn (AJ); his son, Travis, wife, Ann, and granddaughters, Megan, Alyvia and Camryn; his brother, Ronald, and wife, Cindy; his sisters, Jerilyn Caruso, Lauren Harrington and husband, Peter, and Alysan Sherota and husband, Jeff; and many special nieces and nephews.

The funeral was held on Saturday, March 23, at St. Pius X Church in Portland with a celebration of Al’s life at MAC Jets following the service. Online condolences may be shared with his family at jonesrichandbarnes.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Al’s memory may be made to the Al Caruso Aviation Scholarship Fund.

 

ABOUT MAC AIR GROUP

MAC Air Group, located at the Portland International Airport, has provided aviation services to the general and corporate aviation communities for more than 60 years. Their success is due in part to its focus on customer service, full service domestic/international charter operations and aircraft management services for corporate jets. MAC Air Group has also established itself as a quality aircraft management company and is proud of the reputation it’s earned in safety, reliability and professionalism.

Contact MAC Air Group: Brigitte Miller, CFO, [email protected], 207-780-1811, macairgroup.com

 

ABOUT AVFUEL CORPORATION

Avfuel provides fuel and services to the global aviation industry and is the leading independent supplier in the United  States. Established as a supply and logistics company 45 years ago, Avfuel is core competent in every aspect that  surrounds the delivery of fuel – from refinery to wingtip. Avfuel combines global access with personalized service throughout a fueling network of more than 3,000 locations worldwide and 650+ Avfuel-branded dealers. Our 100% dedication to aviation demonstrates our passion and commitment to a global community that prospers on the movement of goods and services around the world.

Contacts:            Avfuel Corporation: Marci Ammerman, Vice President Marketing, 734-663-6466, [email protected], www.avfuel.com, facebook.com/avfuel, Twitter: @Avfuel