George Sullivan was born in 1934, raised in Newport and graduated from Rogers High School in 1952. In 1954 he was drafted and assigned to the Army’s rotary aircraft maintenance school at Fort Rucker, AL. His ensuing duty tour took him to Korea where he serviced the Sikorsky H-19 and the Bell H-13 “Sioux.” He was chosen for one of the Army’s three traveling depot-level maintenance teams and was one of a hand full of enlisted, non-pilot personnel qualified to taxi aircraft and stress them to the point of takeoff.
After his returned to Newport in 1958 George pursued an education in aircraft maintenance at Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University in Miami. He went to work for Newport Aero in Middletown. In 1973 he was named Rhode Island Aviation Mechanic of the Year.
In 1978 George began his own aircraft maintenance service. He leased a hanger at the former Quonset Point Naval Air Station, and Quonset Aircraft Services (QAS) was born. Servicing business class and private recreational aircraft, some of QAS’s customers included former Rhode Island governors Joseph Garrahy and Bruce Sundlun, and singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. QAS became an FAA certified airframe and power plant service facility.
In 1997 George decided it was time to retire. He did not sell his business to the highest bidder–he simply bequeathed ownership to his most dedicated and loyal employee. Under another name, that business continues today.