It is with a heavy and broken heart that this message goes out to you. The aviation industry has lost one of its great entrepreneurial pioneers and a lifetime Business Aviation family member that touched people around the world.
We are truly saddened and heartbroken to announce that Armando Leighton Jr 58 years on this planet has passed away. Armando began his aviation career as a young teenager working with and around C-130 parts, went on to become a purchasing manager of a major airline at the tender age of 21 and soon after opened a company called Corporate Rotable & Supply which later became known as CRS Jet Spares in his mom’s garage with the help of his mother. CRS came into existence because Armando believed business jet operators deserved a choice other than the OEM when it came to supplying parts. It is hard to imagine in 2017 this being a novel idea with as many “Parts” companies that exist today. However, very few had thought this was a successful business model 35 years ago. Growing into an International Aftermarket Support company that included CRS Jet Spares, Thrust Tech Aviation and Jet Tech Engineering. This was a man that seized opportunities within our industry trying to offer improvements and better solutions to those that were currently being offered. The Lear replacement generator “The Power of Blue” is an example of this wherein he decided that his small company could take on the existing OEM; Honeywell. By offering an STC PMA approved generator that provides almost twice the TBO and added reliability to a system that operators called for at significant savings. A capitalist with a heart as he sought PMA and DER process specs to support the unsupportable!
So many in our industry had a connection with Mr. Leighton and no matter how slight it might have been, there is a familiar theme with them all. This was a very nice man, a truly decent human being, he was one of the “Good Guys”
Armando was a businessman, philanthropist, community leader, but most of all he was a family man. He was a man that surrounded himself with his family. Armando is survived by his wife Diane Leighton his daughter Alyssa and son Aram, his siblings Damaris Leal and Neysa Fulton (both of whom work at CRS), Marissa Kubinski and Andrew Leighton, as well as many loving nieces and nephews, Diane’s parents George and Claire Nenezian were very close to him and of course his mom Mirta Chang whom helped start the business back in her garage known to many in the industry as “The CRS Mom”.
It is a sad enough day when our industry loses a legend, but when someone still so full of potential is taken away so suddenly it leaves even a larger whole in this community.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to two of Armando’s favorite non-aviation organizations: The Gilda’s Club South Florida or Jack & Jill Children’s Center both located in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.
You will be remembered and you will be missed as much has been gained from your being such a valuable member of this Business Aviation Community.
Parting is such sweet sorrow….
The CRS Team