DERRICK SCHMIDT AVIATION
Personalized aircraft services powered by unparalleled expertise in Cessna Citation aircraft.
Meet the Team
Derrick Schmidt – Founder and President
With over three decades of combined experience as an A&P mechanic with the Cessna Citation Service Center, a corporate pilot in Cessna’s in-house Air Transportation Department, and over 15 years flying and evaluating aircraft as a Senior Production Test Pilot and Product Specialist on the Citation X and the Citation 650, no one in the business is better equipped to evaluate or operate a Citation than Derrick Schmidt.
Derrick has test flown aircraft since his 20’s, inducted as a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) a decade later. He’s an ATP with operational knowledge spanning every Citation model, from the original 500’s through the 750 (Citation X).
Outside of work, Derrick has an affinity for anything with speed. He has restored multiple classic cars, with a reverence for the Chevy Camaro. As a former licensed NHRA Sportsman racer who built and raced his own cars, a more uniquely qualified gear head and test pilot doesn’t exist. In addition, Derrick volunteers his time as a board member for South Grand Lake Regional Airport (1K8), for the past decade, where he bases his Beechcraft Baron and Bonanza. His efforts on the board, petitioning the FAA and fundraising matching local funds, grew a sleepy grass strip into a 5,000-foot paved runway with a precision approach, Jet-A fuel farm, and a hangar complex to house multiple turbine operators taking up residence.
Derrick is passionate about Cessna Citation aircraft and the people that own and operate them. In 2010, he started Derrick Schmidt Aviation with the premise that the customer could benefit from his technical training and aviation background garnered by a dedicated career with Cessna. Since then, Derrick and his team have brought the dream of flight to hundreds of Citation clients and educated countless others.
Patrick O’Brien – Director of Sales
Patrick’s background in sales and business aviation has been the backbone of DSA’s consulting business since its inception. His expertise in the market and trend analysis, sales forecasting, and contract and legal perspective complements his strong technical background. In addition to being a flight instructor (CFII, MEI) and ATP rated pilot, Patrick’s breadth of knowledge, experience, and capability ensures that each of DSA’s clients has access to in-depth evaluations, analysis, and a complete picture of the micro and macro business jet markets.
Patrick grew up around aviation, starting with his grandfather who specialized in ignition system design, sales and support at Bendix Corporation and survived the 1984 TWA hijacking in Beirut. His father spent nearly four decades at United Airlines and was a flight safety investigator on the response team that flew on September 11th, 2001 to investigate the Shanksville, Pennsylvania United Flight 93 tragedy.
Patrick’s passion for aviation was seeded by his family and has molded him as a focused professional who places emphasis on personal and professional development. Enlisting in the U.S. Army (National Guard) at 17 and completing basic training before graduation from high school, set the stage for Patrick’s hard work and dedication. Patrick was hooked on business aviation after a college internship and found an aviation sales career in the very light jet (VLJ) sector with Eclipse Aviation, Inc. prior to certification of the Eclipse 500 jet. Having sold the Eclipse 500 jet globally, and later joined Eclipse Aerospace as the Western US Sales Director, Patrick has built strong ties to both a domestic and global network.
Leveraging his experience selling new and used aircraft, and applying practical skills learned while working for OEMs, brokerage firms, aircraft dealers, and financial institutions, Patrick held senior positions in organizations across the United States prior to partnering with Derrick. He is responsible for overseeing DSA’s day-to-day business and ultimately guiding clients through transactions from evaluating markets, identifying opportunities, inventory, negotiation, and oversight through technical acceptance and delivery. In just over a decade, Patrick has directed hundreds of transactions of light jets, mid-sized jets, and large-cabin aircraft.
Continuing education has been a pillar of Patrick’s career. He holds multiple degrees with a BS in Aviation Human Factors from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an Executive MBA from Lewis University, and a Management Certificate from the University of Chicago. He has leveraged his management and technical acumen to implement solutions that enhance DSA’s ability to serve the client.
Patrick’s unrelenting drive for improving data quality and work efficiency propels organizational enhancements and guarantees a superior client experience. Patrick prides himself on providing the personal attention necessary for helping clients purchase, sell, trade, or simply evaluate their aviation options.
Patrick has been an avid skier for most of his life. He has skied all over the western United States, with Jackson Hole being his favorite spot. He and his fiancée provide shelter for a 1-year old sheepadoodle named Oberon, who’s accepting Instagram followers at @oberonthesheepadoodle.