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Michael Arsics

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Michael Arsics

AGE: 94 • Seneca, SC

Michael Arsics passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 27, 2015 at the age of 94, at the Clemson Area Retirement Center. Mike led a fascinating life as a pilot and aviation mechanic for more than 50 years, flying all over the world and setting up aviation operations in Liberia, Uganda and Venezuela. In 1942, he graduated from the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics (Newark, NJ) as an aircraft and engine mechanic.

He then enlisted in the US Navy where he accrued 1500 hours of transoceanic flight time in the Pacific. Honorably discharged from the Navy in 1945 as a First Class Petty Officer, he went to work for Air Cargo Transport (C-47s) and then Pan American World Airways. The Pan Am job took him to Liberia where he set up maintenance facilities at Roberts Field, trained local personnel and flew DC-3s for Liberian National Airways. After 8 years in Liberia he returned to the US as a corporate pilot and mechanic for such corporations as ITT Laboratories, Heublein, U.S. Rubber, Arthur Godfrey Enterprises, General Dynamics and Gulf & Western. In August, 1974 he accepted employment by the Government of Uganda as a Technical Advisor. His position required him to set up a facility to service the Grumman Gulf Stream II Aircraft, teach and train Ugandan pilots and mechanics. He was in the hangar on July 4, 1976 during the daring raid at Entebbe when the Israelis freed their hostages from the Ugandan dictator. Following a one year return to the US in 1977, Mike was off to Venezuela from 1978-81, setting up aviation operations for Banconac, and Lagoven S A, the largest petroleum producer in Venezuela. Returning to the US in 1981, he established a consulting company, focusing on aircraft avionics installation and repair, pilot and mechanic training and other aviation operations. A frequent contributor to FAA technical knowledge requests, he also worked tirelessly to elevate the status of mechanics to a level of aviation maintenance engineer. Surviving are his wife of 74 years, Erna Schulthess Arsics of Clemson, SC; sister Agnes and brother-in-law Daniel Shovlin of Gulfport, Fla.; daughter Michelle and son-in-law Gary Savercool of Seneca, SC; son Robert and daughter-in-law Liliana Koster of Walhalla, SC, 4 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

No formal services are planned at Michael's request. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorials in Michael's honor be made to GHS Oconee Hospice of the Foothills Attn: Foundation Office, 298 Memorial Drive, Seneca, SC 29672. Condolences may be expressed online by visiting

Published in Daily Record on May 31, 2015
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