Open main menu

Sky Lease Cargo (formerly Tradewinds Airlines) is an American cargo airline based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Sky Lease Cargo
Sky Lease Cargo Logo.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
AOC #WRNA256M[1]
HubsPiedmont Triad International Airport
Fleet size4
HeadquartersGreensboro, North Carolina, USA


The airline was established in 1969, as Wrangler Aviation and started operations in 1973, using Lockheed Constellation aircraft under FAA Part 91. It became a Part 121 carrier in 1978 and became an all-cargo airline in 1981.

Circa 1991–1992, issues of citizenship, ownership, and compliance with federal airline laws resulted in the conclusion and finding that through the unregulated use of "Delaware Company Law" and the practice of subsidiaries being parts of other subsidiaries," Wrangler Aviation did not meet the fitness requirements of a certificated airline of the United States.[2] The conclusions resulted in restructuring changes to the company to continue operating.

Tradewinds AirlinesEdit

The Tradewinds name was adopted in 1991. In December 2007, Donald Watkins, a lawyer from Alabama bought part of the company. On June 6, 2008, the airline reduced its staff by 70% and parked all 5 B747 and 3 A300.

During 2006, explorative attempts were made by Valiant Airways to contract Tradewinds Airlines for "start-up" operations, but these attempts failed to result in services coming to fruition.[3]

Further press releases on June 3, 2008 indicate that Tradewinds returned five Boeing 747-200F aircraft to the lessor and furloughed employees that operated the lines. On July 25, 2008, Tradewinds Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the third time. The company cited rising fuel costs and low demand, but plans to continue to operate flights during reorganization.[4] In December 2008 Tradewinds Airlines was purchased by Sky Lease One, based out of Florida.

Sky Lease CargoEdit

A Sky Lease Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F

Tradewinds Airlines was renamed Sky Lease Cargo in 2011 and also changed its IATA and ICAO codes, The company operates a fleet of MD-11 to various points in South America and Amsterdam in Europe from Miami International Airport.



As of December 2017, Sky Lease Cargo's fleet includes:[6]

Sky Lease Cargo Fleet:
Aircraft In Service Stored Notes
McDonnell Douglas MD-11F 3 1
Boeing 747-400ERF 1 Leased from AerCap

Incidents and accidentsEdit

N908AR following its runway overrun

On June 7, 2006, a Boeing 747-200F by the registration of N922FT had an engine failure on takeoff at José María Córdova International Airport. The pilot aborted, but the plane overran the runway. None of the 6 on board were injured. However, the plane was substantially damaged.[7]

On November 7, 2018, a Boeing 747-400F with registration N908AR overran the 2350 meters/7700 feet runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, went down a slope and through the localizer antenna and came to a stop about 200 meters past the end of the runway. The plane was performing flight GG-4854 from Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The four crew received minor injuries, while the aircraft received substantial damage with all gear collapsed, engines #2 and #3 separated, engines #1 and #4 damaged and creases in the fuselage skin.[8][9] The aircraft was written off.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-05-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2009-05-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Patterson, Donald (2008-07-29). "Airline acts to hold off creditors". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  5. ^ "Sky Lease Cargo time table" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 3, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  6. ^ "SkyLease Cargo on ch-aviation". ch-aviation. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  7. ^ "Tradewinds Boeing 747 Rejected Takeoff Crash". June 11, 2006. Retrieved July 22, 2019 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "747 cargo jet goes off runway at Halifax airport: CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  9. ^ "Accident: Skylease Cargo B744 at Halifax on Nov 7th 2018, overran runway on landing". avherald. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  10. ^ "Boeing 747 written off with Skylease Cargo". Retrieved 2018-12-18.

External linksEdit