Our Story

Our roots have been in business aviation since there has been business aviation.

1966

Joe Carfagna, Sr. takes a position with Bendix Corporation’s newly formed business aviation division selling avionics to this young expanding market.

1968

Joe, Sr. was recruited by Bill Lear at Learjet to sell their new airplanes in the northeast. Joe reported to Torch Lewis and one of Joe’s first sales was to Jack Nicklaus.

1968 - 1970

Lear enjoyed wild success during this time. Here is Joe Sr. delivering an early Learjet to Arthur Godfrey with Torch Lewis looking on.

1970

Joe, Sr. joins Executive Air Fleet as a founding member. EAF pioneered the concept of corporate aircraft management and charter & shortly after has the first 135 certificate issued in the NY area.

1970 - 1983

EAF experienced substantial growth during this time, becoming the largest aircraft management company in the US.  The ad at left is from Fortune Magazine in 1982.  Joe, Sr. managed the aircraft sales portion of EAF and also acted as chief operating officer.

1983

Executive Air Fleet was acquired by PHH Group, a Fortune 1000 New York Stock Exchange Company. Standing: Founders Matt Weisman and Bill Watt. Seated: Joe Carfagna Sr., PHH officers on the right.

1987

Joe, Sr. and staff applied the same basic principles to transacting aircraft as Leading Edge does today.  See the video EAF/PHH released to existing clients and prospects in 1987.

1988

PHH Corp. sold Executive Air Fleet and its FBO with over 110 aircraft under management to Jet Aviation. Joe Carfagna Sr. departs and forms brokerage agency Wings Aviation International, the predecessor company to Leading Edge Aviation Solutions.

1990 - 1996

Family members Kay Carfagna, Joe Carfagna Jr. and Craig Carfagna join the firm in 1990, 1994 and 1996 respectively, although this photo is a little before that time!

1994

Shortly after its founding, we joined the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) with the intention to work with like minded firms who adhere to a higher standard of ethics in an unregulated industry.  NARA has since became the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) in 2018.

2001

Wings Aviation transacts its 200th aircraft.

2004

After 15 years as Wings Aviation International with 275 aircraft transactions completed, Leading Edge Aviation Solutions is formed and adds technical and consulting services to its offerings to broaden the services we made available to clients and differentiate ourselves from our competitors as the industry begins to mature. 

2006

Joe Esmerado joins LEAS and brings 40 years of experience in aircraft maintenance and management with him, to manage LEAS’ Technical Services team.

2006

Frank Janik joins LEAS and brings the financial and analytical acumen of an MBA to the sales and consulting divisions of LEAS.

2007

The 100th Cessna Citation is transacted.

2008

Leading Edge manages the quality control of a new aircraft completion for the 150th time.

2009

Leading Edge successfully transacts its 100th Gulfstream Aircraft.

2010

Joe Carfagna, Jr. becomes the President of LEAS.

2010

Rick Richardson joins LEAS after running the sales team at Bell Aviation, the largest player in the light jet and turboprop market at the time.

2011

LEAS forms an alliance with Glenn Hinderstein at Glenncoe Aviation to capture the Southern California market.

2013

Joe Carfagna Jr. appointed to the Board of the NBAA Associate Member Advisory Council (AMAC). Learn more about the AMAC by clicking here.

2014

Kristen Cloud joins LEAS.

2014

Greg Wedding joins LEAS.

2016

Leading Edge hits the $10B dollar mark in aircraft transactions and new deliveries

2017

Leading Edge introduces The Client’s Edge – Benefits Program offering valuable new services and discounts from ARGUS, Marsh, Medaire and Flight Safety.

2017

Joe Esmerado receives the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from the FAA for 50 years of service dedicated to aviation safety.

2018

Pete DeLisa joins LEAS.

2018

Leading Edge launches a new website showcasing our core strengths, deep history and track record.

2018

LEAS transacts its 100th Falcon.

700 +
Aircraft Transacted
50 +
Years In the Industry
10
+ Billion Dollars
In Aircraft Transactions

Today

LEAS by the numbers.

700 +
Aircraft Transacted
50 +
Years In the Industry
10
+ Billion Dollars
In Aircraft Transactions