Interview with Mountain Lion Aviation


Did you know that the average person spends 80 hours a year in traffic? That’s more than 3,500 hours over the course of a lifetime. And that time does not include traveling, weekend getaways, and getting stuck in snowstorms on I-80.  “It doesn’t have to be this way,” says William Apotheker, Chief Communications Officer and Head of Marketing at Mountain Lion Aviation. “You shouldn’t spend even more time in traffic when you’re trying to get away from it all.” Mountain Lion Aviation’s goal is to reduce the stress of traveling from the Bay to Truckee (and beyond), to allow families to maximize their time spent together and having fun. We had the absolute pleasure to speak with Apotheker to find out more about this innovative service and why Truckee has the pleasure of being home to Mountain Lion Aviation.

Mountain Lion Aviation, as you can probably guess from the name, offers a charter service based out of Truckee. What you might not have guessed is that Mountain Lion Aviation is Truckee’s only fully on-demand Charter service, meaning you call Mountain Lion Aviation and let them know when you’d like to fly…and they make it happen. “The plane and pilot are completely dedicated to you and your schedule,” says Apotheker. “This is changing the way that people interface with aviation.”


Their commitment to providing unparalleled customer service, comes from their true appreciation of Truckee.  The Chairman, Jim Wilkinson, felt the common frustrations of navigating the “oppressive I-80 traffic” from the Bay Area to Truckee. And worse, he knew each hour spent on the road meant one less spent with family enjoying all that Truckee offers. Wilkinson knew something needed to change, and so, Mountain Lion Aviation was born.  

Now you can catch flights from the Bay Area to Truckee, or even Scottsdale or Los Angeles because, as Apotheker says, “we don't believe in a one size fits all model of aviation.” The company operates two state-of-the-art planes made specifically for mountain travel. The first is the Cirrus SR22T, which Apotheker says is “the safest, and most technologically advanced single engine piston airplane on the market.” The second is the TBM 930, which fits five adults comfortably and “is the fastest single engine turbo prop on the planet.”


“Truckee is a magical place,” Apotheker says, “every day we go to work, we see the mountains in the distance from the airport. It’s hard not to draw inspiration from that and to want to share that feeling with others.”  

Quick Fire

What is your favorite outdoor activity in Truckee?

Right now, it's skiing. I spent most weekend mornings at Squaw Valley.


Where is your go-to place when you need to relax?

In summer, it's the Truckee river bed. Right now, it's probably the couch as I'm spending so much time skiing!


Where is your favorite spot to grab a cocktail or bite to eat?

FiftyFifty Brewing company.


Ski bum or beach bum?

Snow bum


Where can we find you on a Sunday morning?

Currently, at Squaw Valley. In warmer times, at the lake or river.


What is your favorite local Instagram account to follow?


Truckee is growing so quickly! What are you most excited about in this new development?

Just the new energy that new people bring to town. Everyone is always so excited when they move here, you just can't help but feel some of that excitement as well.

Find Mountain Lion Aviation online on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.