About Us



As a Cirrus owner and longtime aviation enthusiast, the founder of Mistwood Aviation believes in a commitment to excellence and an exceptional customer experience.

I am Don McLaughlin and the founder and Managing Member of Mistwood Aviation Services, LLC. I began flying in 1978 and have owned a variety of Cessna, Bonanza, Piper and Cirrus aircraft since that time. I am a serial entrepreneur and have founded and run a number of successful businesses since 1974. I have used aircraft to support my various businesses throughout the last 42 years and have been an experienced consumer of aviation maintenance and services over that time.  In 1997, I purchased Mistwood Airport at the Lake of the Ozarks. Mistwood Airport (24MO) is a private airport and has a 2,800’ x 36’ paved runway. It is membership based and has a number of member pilots with homes in the area.

In 2004, I founded Mistwood Aviation Services to support various aviation-related endeavors. Ten years later, I purchased a 2014 Cirrus SR-22T that is based at Mistwood Airport. I fly in to Spirit of St. Louis Airport frequently and I quickly found that St. Louis lacked competent service resources for Cirrus aircraft. After discussing the limited local support options with a number of other St. Louis Cirrus owners, I recognized that there was a need for a service and training center that was modeled after the Cirrus philosophy of innovation, quality and safety while delivering an exceptional customer experience.

In February of 2014, I began discussions with Cirrus Aircraft about the possibility of starting a Cirrus Service and Training Center at Spirit Airport. Up until this point, all Authorized Service Center (ASC) designations were added on to existing service organizations. This method has had varying results and outcomes and had been less than successful in St. Louis. After over a year of discussions, Cirrus approved Mistwood Aviation as a Cirrus Authorized Service Center. No one had ever started an ASC that was purpose built and designed for the Cirrus owner.

During the discussions in 2015, I began to investigate the local maintenance technicians with Cirrus experience. This investigation involved Cirrus Field Service personnel as well as local owners. John Merriman’s name kept coming up with extremely high recommendations. John has had a successful career working on Cirrus Aircraft since 2001 and has had extensive Cirrus training and experience. After many discussions with John and with Cirrus, I offered John the position of Director of Maintenance for Mistwood Aviation. John understands the excellence and quality that create an exceptional customer experience and he has created a culture within Mistwood Aviation to support that outcome.

I invite you to call or come by our facility and experience an organization that is focused on you and your airplane. We realize that our success is only achievable when our customers have a truly exceptional experience and are excited to recommend us. This philosophy has proven successful in my other businesses and we look forward to serving you.