Flying Solo: TruNorth Jets offers private flight experience to Central Coast
Since she was a kid, Sarah Oberman has been involved in the aviation industry. For nearly 50 years, her parents owned and operated Channel Islands Aviation.
“As far as I can remember, I’ve been involved in airplanes, whether it was flying for family trips, or when I was old enough, I started washing airplanes for extra money,” Oberman told the Business Times.
“As I got older, I worked our front desk and then after college, I ended up working full time for the family business in a variety of different management and sales positions.”
It was through all those different experiences that Oberman discovered her true passion in the aviation industry, chartering jets and working with clients one-on-one.
It was that idea, that passion and watching her parents start and successfully run their own business that inspired Oberman to launch TruNorth Jets in Camarillo in Jan. 2022, coming up close on the company’s one-year anniversary.
“Entrepreneurialism is one word that has always been instilled in me. I saw nothing but a hard work ethic demonstrated by my parents when I was young so when I was faced with the decision of what to do next with my own career, I really fell into something that I finally love and have a true passion for in the aviation industry,” Oberman, a former PCBT 40 under 40 recipient, said.
TruNorth offers a truly customizable and private experience for its clients.
Oberman’s job consists of arranging the best aircraft for the clients’ travel needs, whether it’s a light jet for a regional flight or an ultra-long-range jet that provides a better experience.
TruNorth serves clients’ travel needs within the United States to Europe, Mexico, Bahamas and beyond, providing the efficiencies of smaller airports and the benefits of private aviation.
“I help them come up with different airplanes to consider. I educate them on the different types and the pros and cons of the different types of planes, like maybe the amenities are a bit different and then once we select an aircraft, I secure it for them, book it and then oversee the trip itself from start to finish,” Oberman said.
“I love working directly with the passenger, the one who’s paying for the flight. It’s unique, it’s challenging, it’s really fun and it’s very rewarding… I’m really happy about my decision to start TruNorth. It’s really been better than I ever thought it could be. I wish I’d done it sooner.”
Oberman considered taking over the family business after her parents wanted to sell, but she knew the experience of running her own business coupled with it being in just the part of the industry she truly fell for was an opportunity she could not pass up.
“I’ve always known pilots that are super passionate about flying. It’s something they’ve always wanted to do and they really love it so it doesn’t feel like work. Now I am doing something that I enjoy that doesn’t feel like work and that’s wonderful,” Oberman.
So far, TruNorth only has one employee — Oberman herself.
It’s another thing she loves about the business, knowing that she is the one-stop shop for all her clients’ needs.
“I was really looking to do something that I could do on my own and not have the overhead and the stress that comes with other employees. I wanted to basically be able to be completely self-employed,” she said.
Oberman’s experience in the aviation industry, along with the connections she’s made after decades of meeting people, is why clients trust her and the services she offers.
Oberman has upwards of a dozen clients at least, she said, with plans to always add more.
Some of those clients are based right here on the Central Coast, which she is happy about, saying that she is helping generate revenue for the tri-counties.
Oberman grew up in Camarillo and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, so she has a true love for the Central Coast and is happy her business can keep her in town, even as she arranges flights for people all over the world.
“It feels good to be able to stay here. My family’s here and it’s nice to be anchored here. It’s wonderful knowing that I can work from anywhere, but I don’t want to leave this area,” Oberman said.
“The Central Coast is super important to where my roots are and I’ve got clients who fly into Europe or are in the Caribbean waiting to come home and so to help them do that, after an amazing experience, it’s really neat.”