People in Aviation: May 2008

 - May 5, 2008, 10:28 AM

United Technologies president Louis Chenevert has been elected CEO by the company’s board of directors. He will succeed George David, who will continue as chairman of the board. Chenevert will retain his position as UTC president.

David Watrous, president of the non-profit aviation advisory group RTCA, announced that he will be retiring this year after 19 years with the organization.

Richard Penshorn has been named president and general manager of King Aerospace.

Hawker Beechcraft has made several changes to its management. Henry Davis joins the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer as vice president of aircraft manufacturing and assembly; Dean Jones is the v-p of quality compliance and performance excellence; Charles Mayer is the v-p of marketing; and Ken Rohling is the new director of Wichita flight completion and paint operations.

James Waugh has announced he will retire from his position of executive vice president with FlightSafety International after 32 years with the company.

FlightSafety International also announced that Rick Bedard has been promoted to director of training operations. He replaces Robert Stephenson, who is retiring. In addition, Daniel Greenhill has been promoted to manager of the company’s training academy in Vero Beach, Fla., replacing Stanley Jhagroo, who will be returning to FlightSafety Operations as quality management systems specialist. The company named Steve Sparks to the newly created position of director, NetJets programs. Michael Halsey was also hired to serve as director of manufacturing for FlightSafety Simulation.

XOJet has hired Eilif Serck-Hanssen as CFO and president of international operations and expansion. The company also appointed Mario Patenaude senior v-p and chief human resources officer.

Bombardier Aerospace has named Brant Dahlfors vice president of U.S. widebody business aircraft sales, covering Challengers and Globals.

Midcoast Aviation has promoted Jim Zarvos to senior vice president, responsible for MRO and refurbishment activities at its newly acquired Savannah Air Center, in addition to heading up Midcoast’s satellite operations. The Jet Aviation subsidiary has also promoted Dave Smith to v-p of satellite operations.

Eric Hofer has been named senior vice president for sales and customer service for newly launched Virgin Charter.

Minnesota-based Cirrus Design appointed Bruce Gunter v-p of domestic sales, while Gary Black will take on the role of jet sales coordinator. Carroll LeBoeuf was promoted to divisional director for the Eastern U.S.

Avidyne announced that Robbin (Rob) Higby has joined the company as vice president of sales and marketing.

Flight Options made several changes to its management staff with the naming of three new vice presidents. Tony Ferrante has been named v-p for sales in the eastern U.S.; Rusty Hood is Flight Options’ new v-p and general counsel; and Ralph Knull will head the company’s human resources and labor relations division.

John Beveridge has joined consulting firm Boston JetSearch as a vice president.
Crane Aerospace & Electronics appointed JoAnna Williams vice president of human resources for its aerospace group.

Bell Helicopter has appointed Nick Lappos to head its XworX R&D facility in Arlington, Texas. Bell also tapped Jeff Lowinger to take over as the head of its engineering department.

Carol Giles has been named manager of the aircraft maintenance division in the FAA’s flight standards office. She fills the vacancy left by David Cann, who recently retired.

Embraer announced that Pedro Ferraz Pereira, its former North American director of corporate communications, is now the company’s director of internal communications. He takes over from Rosana Silva Aguiar, who is transferring to human resources. Christine Manna has been named interim head of North American communications for the Brazilian airframer.

Shelly Simi, formerly the head of external communications with Adam Aircraft, has joined Jeppesen as a communications strategist for its business and general aviation division.

Air medical service provider Omniflight Helicopters has promoted Eric Pangburn to the post of chief pilot.

TAC Air has promoted Pam McAllister to general manager of its operations at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.

BBA Aviation subsidiary Executive Beechcraft has appointed Barbara Knox
as controller and Valerie Scott as human resources manager.

Bob Agostino, the founder of the Safety Standdown event, has resigned as Bombardier Business Aircraft’s director of flight operations.

Conrad Vandersluis
has been named MRO director for A.J. Walter Aviation’s repair management service.

UK-based helicopter management company PremiAir has appointed Kevin Gleeson chief pilot for charter and management.

Randy Fank has been named manager of FBO operations by Illinois-based J.A. Air Center.

Awards & Honors

Avidyne has presented its Technical Achievement Award for 2007 to senior engineer Steve Lindsley for his contribution to the development of a single-pilot turbine aircraft flight management system.

Final Flights

Gerald ‘Jerry’ Schlesinger, 63, died March 22 in Columbus, Ohio. Schlesinger was the retired executive vice president of NetJets Aviation and CFO of NetJets. Before joining the fractional jet provider, he served as president and CEO of supply logistics specialist Aerospace Products International and senior vice president for its parent company, First Aviation Services. He was also a founder and COO of SimuFlite and CFO of Butler Aviation. During the Vietnam War he served as a USAF pilot and intelligence specialist. Schlesinger is survived by his wife, Lisa; mother, Bernice; three children and three grandchildren.

Thomas Dean Harton, 63, president of Hawthorne, died March 19 in Charleston, S.C. Harton joined Hawthorne Aviation in 1968 as a line pilot and military contract flight instructor and remained with the company through several mergers for almost three decades. In 1999 he was named president and CEO of Piedmont Hawthorne, and in 2004 he was appointed vice chairman of Landmark Aviation. In 2007 he returned to Hawthorne Corp., which became a financial advisory firm specializing in the aviation industry. Harton served on a number of industry advisory panels and was a former board member of the National Air Transportation Association, American Association of Airport Executives and NBAA. He also held an airline transport pilot certificate. Harton is survived by his wife, Cynthia, and son, Will.

Gerard Schkolnik, 44, director of supersonic technology programs for Gulfstream Aerospace, was killed on April 13 when his Lancair Legacy crashed on takeoff at the annual Sun’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Schkolnik joined Gulfstream in 2006 after spending 15 years at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. During his career there, Schkolnik managed or supported 18 flight-test projects and was a founding member of Dryden’s planning and business development directorate. Before his stint with NASA, he served as an aerodynamics, flying qualities and stability control engineer at the Air Force Flight Test Center.

Schkolnik was a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.