Did You Know Universal Asset Management? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Walnut Ridge, AR--Tiffany Blankenship Reports

Did You Know Universal Asset Management?

March 13, 2006--Posted at 3:00 pm

WALNUT RIDGE-- Universal Asset Management Incorporated worked on their first plane in November of 2003.

Some planes travel over 125 thousand miles before arriving here where airplanes are disassembled, and their parts are recycled... And did you know?

"Those parts end up going on airplanes that you'll be flying in all over the world," Universal Asset Management Chief Executive Officer Steve Manley says.

The company has two locations in Walnut Ridge and in Pocahontas with its headquarters in Memphis.

But the disassembly of the planes takes place right here in Walnut Ridge.

"It's very similar to recycling. It's like you put your put your recycled bottles or newspapers out every week, we recycle the airplanes. Recycling of airplanes has been taking place for well over 40 years," Manley says.

After the planes are disassembled, they're redistributed into numerous sales networks.

"Aircraft parts are so expensive and so hard to come by, that operators don't want to wait for the parts to come to them or they don't want to pay the high prices," Manley says.

The company typically works on narrow body airplanes like 737s and MD-80 series... With generally 100 to 150 passenger seats.

"Other than brand new airplanes that are fresh off the production lines, there's not an airplane that I know of that's not flying with recycled parts," Manley says.

But don't worry, before their sold, these parts are carefully inspected.

Everything goes to an FAA rated repair station which means everything is as good as new and safe for distribution.

"We're probably one of the only companies in the United States that has all rated mechanics work on their aircraft," Walnut Ridge General Manager Shawn Vaughn says.

And Vaughn says the planes they work on all have a story.

Their parts may be stripped down and shipped out, but each, but he says each piece keeps it's character...

"It's kind of sad to see them go out of service sometimes. You know, if they could only talk... The things they've seen. All these planes have been all over the world in every state in the union. I wish I could travel like they have," Vaughn says.

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