People in Aviation: September 2008

 - September 5, 2008, 5:39 AM

AAI Acquisition, which purchased the assets of bankrupt Adam Aircraft Industries earlier this year, has named aviation industry veteran Jack Braly the company’s new president and CEO.

Hawker Beechcraft has added three new vice presidents. Andy Plyler was named v-p for Hawker Beechcraft Services, responsible for all aspects of HBS domestic and international operations. Company veteran David Bernstorf, responsible for certification programs at the company’s Wichita and Little Rock facilities, was promoted to v-p of safety and certification, and Lance Crawford, formerly with Computer Sciences, was added as v-p and chief information officer.

Margaret Jenny was selected as the next president of the non-profit aviation advisory group RTCA. She succeeds Dave Watrous who stepped down after 19 years at the helm of the organization.

Charter provider Airnet System, based in Columbus, Ohio, has hired Fred deLeeuw as CFO. He most recently served as president of regional Big Sky Airlines, based in Billings, Mont.

David Hurley has been elected to Aviation Partners Boeing’s board of directors and has been appointed senior advisor to the Board of Aviation Partners. Hurley currently serves as chairman of the National Air and Space Museum board and vice chairman of the business aviation group PrivatAir in Geneva.

Gulfstream has promoted 31-year company veteran Barry Russell to v-p for customer support. Previously, Russell served as v-p and general manager of the company’s facility in Long Beach, Calif., where Becky Johnson will replace him in that role. Robert Nilson has been named organizational designation authorization program administrator for production parts and repair. He was previously director of engineering and quality at the Long Beach facility, where he was succeeded by Todd Strong. Michele Nierenberg, most recently the company’s manager of systems integration engineering, has been named director of that department. Paul Lu has been tapped as onsite program manager for suppliers of the G650, and Charles Wood was named the company’s Lean Six Sigma program manager.

Zurich-based Jet Aviation has appointed Christof Späth its new senior v-p and head of maintenance, responsible for all MRO operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Norbert Marx will lead the aircraft completions division while remaining general manager of Jet Aviation Basel, and Jürg Reuthinger will be in charge of the newly formed aircraft services, including management and charter.

Executive Jet Management has added Steve Taylor as v-p of aircraft management sales. His territory will be the Western U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii. He was most recently international operations and special programs manager with sister company NetJets Aviation.

Flight service provider Jeppesen has named Ann Bozeman vice president of human resources, overseeing all of the company’s global human resources functions. She joins the aerospace industry after previously serving in the same role for ConAgra Foods.

Jay Heublein has been named v-p of sales and marketing at Flight Options. He previously served as regional sales director for CitationShares.

Corporate aviation support services supplier ACASS has named Kevin Harris vice president of business development. He most recently served as managing director with aircraft interior completions specialist Corporate Aircraft Turnkey Services.

Atlanta-based wireless and satellite communication solutions provider EMS Technologies promoted Dr. Neil Mackay to COO and executive v-p. Most recently, Mackay served as the company’s executive v-p of strategy, focusing on mergers and acquisitions.

Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America announced that Alan Fletcher will assume the role of v-p of operations, based in Andalusia, Ala. Ronnie Kearns was named director of sales and customer support for Vector’s Andalusia MRO operation.

Key Air has added John Mason to its executive team, as its new senior v-p of nationwide/global FBO services. He was formerly director of FBO services at Jet Aviation’s Palm Beach facility.

Clive Richardson has been named CEO for the UK- & Dubai-based Fairs & Exhibitions, the company whose events include Dubai Airshow and the Middle East Business Aviation exhibition.

Keith Graham, Salem Five Bank’s senior v-p for aviation lending, has been appointed vice president of the Maryland-based National Aircraft Finance Association.

St. Louis-based Avmats Parts Support has named Dave Holler vice president. He will oversee parts sales and accessories repair and overhaul.

To lead its new FBO at Honolulu International Airport, Castle & Cooke Aviation has hired Tony Marlow as general manager and Amy Kaleikini as customer service manager.

Awards & Honors

Peter Weger, Grob Aerospace’s head of flight operations, has been named a fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. A graduate from the Empire Test Pilot School in Boscombe Down, England, he served with the German Air Force, becoming an operational pilot on the F-104 and F-4. He left the military after 14 years to become a test pilot with Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, and later Dornier before joining Grob Aerospace last year.

Flight instructors John and Martha King will be inducted next month into the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Aviation Hall of Fame, as part of its class of 2008. The Kings, through their flight school and training materials, have revolutionized the way pilots learn. Over the last few decades nearly half of the pilots learning to fly in the U.S. have used the couple’s books and videos. The Kings continue to be avid students of aviation and are the first couple to both hold every category and class of FAA rating on their pilot and instructor certificates. Martha is the only woman to achieve this.

Final Flights

French helicopter pilot Richard Fenwick, a former president of the Aero Club de France, died on July 14 after an ultralight airplane emergency landing. He had trained numerous helicopter pilots in France and was considered a Robinson R22 expert. In the 1990s he was famous for airing live road traffic reports from his R22 on local radios around Paris. He had set several world records and holds the current London-Paris speed record in the E-1d category with a Gazelle light single.

James Ramage, 63, a flight evaluation pilot with the U.S. Forest Service, died in the August 5 crash of an S-61N helicopter in Northern California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest (see page 67). Ramage began his helicopter career as a pilot for the U.S. Army, where he served from 1966 through 1970, including one tour of duty in Vietnam. For 20 years, beginning in 1984, Ramage worked for Cal Fire and was named the agency’s first forestry pilot and assigned badge number one. He was promoted to air operations officer and served as chief helicopter pilot and later aviation safety officer until his retirement in 2003. Ramage’s love of firefighting and helicopters was so strong that after just 11 days of retirement, he joined the U.S. Forest Service as a pilot inspector. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Diane, and his daughter.

Connie Penne, 52, NBAA’s vice president of membership marketing, died suddenly last month while on vacation in Punxsutawney, Pa. She joined the NBAA staff in November 2005, overseeing the association’s activities related to membership marketing and fulfillment. Penne came to NBAA with more than two decades of experience in direct-response marketing, strategic planning, database marketing and member relationship management, including serving as director of member data and strategic services with AARP, where she was responsible for a marketing database of 58 million members and prospects. She is survived by her husband and three children.