A little about our history
Steve’s first airplane ride, at 8 years old, was in an uncle’s Cessna 180. He grew up in the Seattle area where his father and 2 uncles retired from Boeing.
His aviation career began in 1965 when he joined the Air Force. As a sergeant (E4) he served as a technical maintenance instructor at Chanute Air Force Base. He later served in the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron stationed at Clark Air Force Base, Philippine Islands, as a shop foreman working on C-130H and HH3 helicopters.
1969 to 1978
In 1969 Steve received an A&P mechanic’s license, restored a Taylorcraft to use for his personal flight training, and obtained a private pilot’s license in 1970. He was an owner of Snohomish Aircraft Paint and Fabric at Harvey Field, Snohomish, WA from 1970 to 1978. The firm provided all phases of small aircraft maintenance, and specialized in aircraft painting, Stits fabric recovering, modifications and engine overhauls. During this time Steve received IA certification, commercial, instrument, multi-engine and seaplane pilot’s licenses. He was also an owner of Boogie Parachute Club, maintaining and operating 2 Beech 18’s for skydiving.
1978 to Present
Steve and Norma met during skydiving activities, married in 1975 and opened P. Ponk Aviation in 1978.
We have been based in Washington, primarily specializing in Cessna 180 and 182 aircraft and engine maintenance, restorations, overhauls and modifications.
Other experiences included import and export of US and foreign aircraft. We imported and certified numerous Yugoslav airplanes, including 7 military jet trainers, for exhibition in the US.
We worked in the summer Alaska salmon industry through 1995, hauling fish, commercial fishing, buying fish and spotting fish, using Cessna 180’s and 182’s in our work. During this time, we developed several products, including the landing gear beef up kit and Super Eagle O-520 engine conversion, which were conceived while working the aircraft off remote beaches in the Alaskan bush.
Steve was a Designated Mechanic Examiner (DME) for the FAA from 1990 to 2006, offering oral and practical tests to A&P mechanic applicants.
We were presented a “Friends of the FSDO” award in 1996 by the Seattle FAA Flight Standards District Office.
Steve has been an FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR-T) since 2003 with authorization to provide many standard, special and export airworthiness certificates for aircraft under 12,500 pounds.
Today, P. Ponk Aviation is well established, with a dedicated staff of 5 experienced individuals. Our primary focus is building Super Eagle O-470-50 engines and production of our PMA parts. We continue to offer a variety of products and services to the general aviation community, and are committed to customer service.
Steve Knopp – Owner / General Manager
- Education – U.S. Airforce; Eddison Tech
- USAF Maintenance Instructor and Mechanic 1965 – 1969.
- Airframe and Powerplant License
- Inspection Authorization License
- Designated Mechanic Examiner 1990 – 2006
- Maintenance Technician of the Year – 2001 Northwest Region, FAA Seattle FSDO
- Designated Airworthiness Representative
- FAA Charles Taylor Award 2016
- Pilot – Commercial Instrument, Multi-Engine, Single Engine Sea
- LOA with Designee for Galeb G2A Jet
- Parachutist – D License
Norma Knopp – Co-Owner / Accountant
- Education – Pacific Lutheran University
- Pilot – Private
- Parachutist – D license