After a lifetime of moving around, Ken Combs is finally looking to settle down.


Combs recently joined the Air Group, an aircraft management company, as senior vice president and director of flight operations based at the company's headquarters at Van Nuys Airport. He will handle duties that include the management of crews and scheduling of flights.


Combs started flying after he graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1973. He initially joined the Air Force to subsidize his college education, but ended up liking it enough to stay 22 years, two years longer than he needed to put in what's considered a full Air Force career.


"That was probably the only opportunity I was going to have to get an education," he said. "So, I was fortunate enough to be selected to the Air Force Academy."


Combs flew for the Air Force as a fighter pilot in an F-111 fighter-bomber from 1977 until 1994. During that time he was stationed throughout the United States and Europe. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for one of the combat missions he flew during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.


He flew charter planes for a few years for a friend's operation in North Carolina. Next, Combs joined Raytheon Travel Air, a start-up that offers a fractional aircraft ownership program. Combs was chief pilot when Raytheon Travel Air merged with Flight Options in 2002.


When he's not working, Combs says he likes woodworking, tinkering around with an old car that he has and staying involved in his kids' activities coaching their soccer teams, for example. He says he hasn't started looking for a house yet because his family will stay in Kansas until the end of the school year.

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