People in Aviation: July 2002

 - April 21, 2008, 7:43 AM

Pilatus Business Aircraft announced three personnel changes. Mike Rector, previously avionics manager at Pilatus, was promoted to completions center manager. Dennis Ruch, formerly interiors manager, was promoted to logistics manager. Ken Schaelchlin was named customer support manager.

Miami-based Avborne named Stephen Henderson as CEO. He joined the company from FLS Aerospace Holdings of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Pratt & Whitney Canada announced the appointments of Gilles Ouimet as chairman and Alain Bellemare as president. Ouimet has been an employee of the company for 25 years and held the position of president. Bellemare was executive vice president of the company since last year.

Michael Cleary joined Boise, Idaho- based Western Aircraft as president and COO of aircraft operations. Cleary was most recently president of Regent Aviation.

Jack Hopkins was promoted to president and COO of Million Air Dallas. He has been with Million Air for 18 years as the FBO manager.

Toronto-based CAE announced the appointment of Gary Scott to group vice president for civil simulation and training. He was president of of FlightSafety Boeing Training International. Also at CAE, Don Campbell was promoted to group president for military simulation and training.

Mark Paolucci is the new v-p of Citation sales at Cessna. He was most recently Cessna’s v-p of international sales.

Justin Firestone was named v-p of sports marketing for Marquis Jet Partners. He is responsible for marketing and sales of the Marquis Private Jet Card to athletes, sports agents and sponsors. Firestone joined the company from eBizJets. Boyd Harden joined Marquis Jet as a vice president of sales and will be based in New York City. Harden was previously employed at Bombardier Aerospace as a regional sales support manager.

Jim Rice is the new director of operations at Latrobe, Pa.-based L.J. Aviation. He was previously v-p of Raytheon Aircraft Charter and Management.

Bombardier Aerospace named Tilmann “Tim” Gabriel as general manager of customer training in the business aircraft division. He was most recently v-p of flight operations for Bombardier’s Flexjet fractional-ownership program.

Harry Stonecipher stepped down from his position as vice chairman of Boeing early last month but will remain on the company’s board of directors. A successor for Stonecipher had not been named at press time, but the office of the chairman was expanded to include Mike Sears, Boeing’s CFO; Laurette Koellner, chief people and administration officer; and David Swain, chief of technology.

Clayton Jones was named chairman of the board of directors at Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Rockwell Collins. He replaced Donald Beall, who resigned. Beall is taking over the board’s newly created executive committee. Jones has been a director of the company since March last year and president and CEO since last June.

Chesterfield, Mo.-based JetCorp. announced several personnel appointments. Jerry Moore was named v-p of sales and marketing. Moore previously worked for Bombardier, where he was director of new and used aircraft sales. Angela McCollum was promoted to manager of market research and advertising. Wes Lumry was named regional technical sales manager for the Northeast. He was most recently sales director for General Electric International. Also, Michelle Smith was promoted to charter sales representative. Stan Allmon was promoted to director of avionics. He has held various avionics positions during his 10-year tenure with JetCorp, including repair manager, supervisor and avionics technician. And Ken Schnurbusch was promoted to manager of avionics planning. He was most recently the company’s avionics sales manager.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Unison Industries named Ron Crowell v-p of finance and treasurer. Before joining Unison, Crowell was CFO for GE Engine Services’ European operations in Cardiff, Wales. 

Greenville, S.C.-based Piaggio America named Isabel Valiente as vice president of supply management. She was procurement manager for Sino Swearingen Aircraft. The company also hired Charles Wallies as manager of aircraft completions and Joshua Rogers as parts sales associate. Wallies was interior manager for Stevens Aviation, and Rogers was an inspector at H&L Accessory. Len Kaiser was named CFO. Kaiser joined Piaggio from Kysor/ Warren Corp., where he was also CFO.

Jeffrey Cropper was promoted to v-p of charter service for Cincinnati-based Executive Jet Management. Cropper was most recently v-p of client relations for the company’s aircraft management division.

NetJets named four new sales vice presidents. Heather Kidd is responsible for sales in Southern California. She was previously director of sales and marketing for CLS of Los Angeles. Raymond Bennett is responsible for the Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Chattanooga, Tenn. sales territories. He joined the company from Raytheon Travel Air, where he was a regional sales manager. John Odegard is responsible for sales in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He was also a regional sales manager for Raytheon Travel Air. Donn Seidholz handles sales for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Bob Hobbi joined Phoenix-based MedAire as v-p and general manager of MedAire’s business and general aviation group. He was director of Honeywell’s Aerospace Academy.

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Jet Center named Deron Webb as operations manager.

Wichita-based Mid-Continent Instruments named Ronald Schneider as operations manager. He joined the company from McKechnie PLC, where he was a controller.

Ben Clayden was named chief pilot for Woodland, Calif.-based Woodland Aviation. Clayden, the former director of operations and chief pilot at Monterey Airplane Co., replaced Mike Helow, who transitioned to Hawker captain within the company.

William Glodfelty returned to San Francisco-based TAG Aviation as director of client services, with responsibilities for customer accounts in the western U.S. Glodfelty initially joined TAG Aviation in 1988. Also at TAG, Larry Edeal was promoted to v-p of flight operations and standards. He was director of flight standards. Tony Yoder joined the company as manager of flight standards. He was most recently a United Airlines pilot.

William Urbowicz joined the Columbia Air flight department as a Citation line pilot. He previously flew for a fractional operator in New York.

Mercury Air Centers, a subsidiary of Mercury Air Group, recently formed a new board of directors. The board includes Joe Czyzyk, president and CEO of Mercury Air Group; John Enticknap, executive v-p and COO of Mercury Air Centers; George Ball, v-p of logistics for NetJets; Kenneth Kearney, director of aviation at AOL Time Warner; Dr. Philip Fagan, Mercury Air Group chairman; and Eric Beelar, v-p of MercFuel. Two regional directors were also announced at Mercury Air Centers. Bob Wernersbach was named the eastern regional director, and Tom Ransom has been appointed as the western regional director. Wernersbach was regional director of operations for ACE Parking Management. Ransom was vice president and general manager for U.S. Technical.

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta appointed Coast Guard Commandant James Loy to the newly created post of deputy undersecretary for transportation security and COO of the Transportation Security Administration.

Awards and Honors

Herb and Arlene Elliott, founders of Elliott Aviation, were honored by the National Air Transportation Association with its William A. Ong Memorial Award. The award recognizes extraordinary achievement and extended meritorious service to general aviation.

Elliott Flying Service was launched in 1936 on a grass airstrip at Dewitt (Iowa) Airport. Herb gave flying lessons while Arlene, his girlfriend at the time, handled the financial aspects of the business. The couple was married in 1939. After World War II, they resumed their business at a grass strip at Cram Field, Iowa, and later expanded their operation to include Piper and Beech dealerships and maintenance service. The company, which has 400 employees, provides STC development, avionics, completions and modifications, new and pre-owned aircraft sales and numerous aircraft management services.

Robert Breiling, president of Robert E. Breiling Associates, received the Flight Safety Foundation business aviation meritorious service award at the Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar in May. For the past 20 years Breiling has provided reports on aircraft safety-related trends and accident statistics. The award also recognized his dedication to the improvement of flight training and business aviation safety, including consulting with flight departments to improve their operational safety, helping to develop a template for flight operations manuals used in corporate flight departments and working to enable business aviation pilots to receive the full advantages of simulator training as an alternative to in-airplane training.

Stevens Aviation Greenville won an FAA Ruby Award for excellence in aviation maintenance training. Ruby Awards are presented to employers that have at least 20 percent of their technicians take part in the FAA-sponsored program. In addition, employees are recognized with individual awards based on total training hours. The following Stevens maintenance technicians were honored: John Moldovan, Diamond Award, 100 hr; Rich Bouchard, Brian Carr, Don Carson, Dave Duncan, Charlie Jamison and Paul McCombie, Ruby Awards, 60 hr; Cary Hartline, Mike Howell, Keith Lewis and Scott Sims, Gold Awards, 26 hr; and Mike Churchwell, Larry Flener, Paul Shafer and Paul Radcliffe, Bronze Awards, six hours.

Final Flights

Dan Conti, long-time owner and retired president of Simplex Manufacturing, died May 28. Conti joined Simplex after graduating from Oregon State University’s engineering school in 1962. He became president and owner in September 1972 and held those positions until retiring in 1996. During his tenure with Simplex, Conti participated in the development of more than 15-FAA certified systems for a variety of civil-use helicopters. He helped to establish Simplex as a manufacturer of helicopter application systems for spraying, fertilizing, oil spill response and fire management. He served on numerous committees for the Helicopter Association International.

Rudolf (Rudy) Kapustin, a retired senior investigator with the NTSB, died in April at age 76 from pancreatic cancer. Before retiring from the NTSB in 1986, Kapustin was an investigator in charge of the NTSB’s aviation division and senior member of its “go team,” a rotating group of specialists who travel to the sites of civilian airplane crashes. Among the accidents he investigated were the 1963 crash that killed singer Patsy Cline; the 1974 TWA crash 23 miles west of Dulles Airport; the 1982 crash of Air Florida Flight 90 into Washington’s 14th Street Bridge; and the 1986 crash that killed entertainer Ricky Nelson. One of his responsibilities at the NTSB was to draft final accident reports and offer safety recommendations. After retiring, Kapustin founded Intercontinental Aviation Safety Consultants, which provided aviation safety research and accident reconstruction and investigation services worldwide. He is survived by his wife, Vera, four children and five grandchildren.