Veteran ag pilot will serve as Director of Sales for North America, while adding increased depth to the company’s flight development and engineering teams.

(Albany, Georgia) Sales leadership at Thrush Aircraft has taken a major leap forward with the announcement today that Mike Rutledge has joined the company as Director of Sales for North America. Mike is well-known in the agricultural aviation community and, as a current Ag pilot, brings significant insight to the company and its sales organization, as well as to the factory’s aircraft development teams.

Prior to joining Thrush, Mike’s career included some 30 years in the military. He served twelve years as a Navy SEAL before transitioning to the Army as an aviator where, in addition to multiple tours and special operation actions, he also served as an instructor pilot, developmental test pilot and aviation safety officer. He concluded his military aviation career as commander of the Executive Flight Detachment at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and with a total of more than 6,700 flight hours.

Mike’s appreciation for ag aviation began at a young age in Galesburg, Illinois, where his father established the legendary Stearman Fly-In. Setting his sights on becoming an Ag pilot, Mike began building time doing everything from flight instructing to towing gliders. Today, he operates Rutledge Airborne Applications based in Shipshewana, Indiana serving northern Indiana and Michigan. He is also a carded relief fire pilot.

“Mike Rutledge brings amazing and highly relevant career experience to Thrush – as well as a can-do attitude our customers will see reflected in the new levels of attention they’ll receive,” said Mark McDonald, CEO of Thrush Aircraft. “We’re excited to be adding such a highly skilled member to our team” he continued.

Added Mr. Rutledge: “It is not only great to now be a part of furthering the proud history of Thrush, but I’m also excited to be involved in fully developing the potential of the aircraft we build. Most important, it is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to add to all the positive change that’s taking place here at the company” he concluded.

Mike can be reached via email at: