Pilot station in Terre Haute, Indiana just north of I-70 on exit 11.
1999 photo by Sonya Cirillo
Pilot pump somewhere in Florida, 2003. By Robert Droz.
Two views of a Pilot Travel Center in Ocala, Florida.
Photos taken May 2003 by Robert Droz.
Pilot has been around as a small gas station chain since 1958. They opened their first convenience store in 1976.
The Pilot Travel Centers began in 2001 as a joint venture between Pilot Corporation and Marathon Petroleum.
Under this joint venture, Pilot became a nationwide presence as a Travel Center. In 2008, Pilot bought out
Marathon's share in the venture. Meanwhile, rival Flying J had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In 2009, Pilot offered to buy their ailing competitor to remove the bankruptcy.
As of 2010, the combined company took the name Pilot Flying J, although
their legal name remains Pilot Travel Centers, LLC.
As a condition of the merger, both of the chains will keep their
separate identities. So we still have Pilot Travel Centers and
Flying J Travel Centers.