People in Aviation

 - July 7, 2010, 8:48 AM

Rod Holter has joined Hawker Beechcraft as v-p and general manager for aircraft manufacturing. Most recently he served as Cessna’s v-p for the Mustang, single-engine and outlying facilities.

Canadian flight training provider CAE has appointed Keyvan Fard, previously senior v-p for sales and marketing with Pratt & Whitney Canada, executive v-p for business development and OEM alliances. He is also president of CAE helicopter solutions.

James Bennett, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, has been elected chairman of the American Association of Airport Executives.

The Aerospace Industries Association has appointed Todd Sigler assistant v-p of civil aviation. Previously he was v-p of manufacturing support and process engineering with Cirrus Aircraft.

Thomas Leverton, former COO of TXU Energy, has been named CEO of air medical services provider Omniflight Helicopters. He replaces Robert Peiser, who will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors.

Gary Dolski has been named v-p of customer support at MD Helicopters. Previously he was the director of Bombardier’s authorized service facility.

Mark Schmaltz, founder and former president of Spirit Aviation, has been named president and CEO of Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based aircraft charter and management provider Dreamline Aviation.

Boeing Business Jet completions specialist Greenpoint Technologies has named Adrian Osborn v-p of programs. He was previously v-p of OEM programs at Heath Tecna.

San Jose, Calif.-based charter and aircraft management provider ACM Aviation has added Brent Moldowan, previously v-p of operations at Mayo Aviation, to its staff as v-p of owner services.

West Star Aviation has named Dan Hodgins, most recently Starport Aviation’s director of sales and marketing, its new Northeast regional sales manager.

Gulfstream has promoted William Gay from completion sales process team leader to director of completion sales.

Rick Burt, formerly senior v-p of oil and gas activities at Cougar Helicopters, has been named CHC Helicopter’s managing director for Australia.

Los Angeles-based TWC Aviation has hired Victoria Collom, previously charter service manager with Executive Jet Management, as manager of business development.

Zurich, Switzerland-based private aviation provider ExecuJet has promoted Yu Yubin to general manager for ExecuJet China. He will also continue in his role as aircraft sales director for China.

Cutter Aviation has promoted David Lohmeyer from manager of avionics to director of aircraft services for the company’s Phoenix Sky Harbor facility.

Sabreliner has announced several new senior staff additions and promotions. Victoria Colton was tapped as director of quality and product integrity. She was previously senior director of quality and mission success for GKN Aerospace. The St. Louis-based aviation services provider also named Yvonne Jones, formerly a product quality and manufacturing engineering operations leader with General Motors, to the newly created role of director of manufacturing, engineering and planning, while Carol Ochsenfeld, previously with Pratt & Whitney, was chosen for the new position of director of supply chain and material management. Stephen DeBarry, most recently the company’s operations controller-director IT, was promoted to chief information officer; Al Farless was appointed general manager of Perryville (Mo.) site operations, after serving as senior director of program development. Elizabeth Wilkerson, formerly with Boeing, was appointed plant operations controller for the company’s operations in Perryville, St. Mary and Ste. Genevieve.

Signature Flight Support has appointed Vickie Elgin as sales manager. Previously she was contract fuel sales manager with Western Petroleum.

Cleveland-based MRO provider Constant Aviation has named Bill Knauf, a former customer support manager with Honeywell Aerospace, as avionics technical support manager.

Mid-Continent Instruments has promoted Marissa Reddick from purchasing agent to purchasing supervisor. The Wichita-based company also hired Ryan Reid as its Eastern region outside sales representative.

Canadian aviation services provider Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group has promoted Harald Maron from sales manager for aircraft management and charter to Eastern regional sales manager for the company’s aircraft sales division.

Aeronautical communications provider International Communications Group has named two new sales directors. Ray Larkin, formerly the company’s military and government program representative, will take over the Northeast region, while Adam Tsakonas, previously a sales account manager, will be responsible for the Southeast region.

Los Angeles World Airports has chosen Jess Romo, manager at LA/Ontario International Airport, to oversee Van Nuys Airport. He takes over from Selina Birk, who has moved to lead the regulatory compliance and standards division at Los Angeles International Airport.

The United States Aircraft Insurance Group has added two new members to its staff. David Seiler was named v-p of its Atlanta office, while Sherry Ortiz was appointed claims attorney in the airlines/ central claims office.

Steve Olson has been named manager in Key Equipment Financing’s corporate aviation finance division. He was a founding partner in Luxe Capital Partners.

Awards & Honors

Women in Aviation International (WAI) has received a bequest of approximately $203,000 from the estate of Arlene Elliott, the cofounder of Elliott Aviation who died in January. A 1999 inductee into WAI’s Pioneer Hall of Fame, she was honored as a steady promoter of general aviation who was instrumental in turning around the attitude of bankers toward financing general aviation aircraft.

NBAA has been selected as this year’s recipient of the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Milton Caniff Spirit of Flight Award, presented to a group or organization in recognition of contributions made toward the advancement of aviation. At this month’s induction ceremony Clay Lacy, the founder of Los Angeles-based aviation services company Clay Lacy Aviation and one of the pioneers of the private aircraft charter industry, will be among those enshrined as a member of the NAHF’s class of 2010, along with Alan Bean, Apollo astronaut; Warren Grimes, inventor of aircraft navigation instruments and lights; and Noel Wien, arctic flight pioneer and founder of Wien Alaska Airlines.

Final Flights

Emma Browning, 99, a member of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame and the former owner of Browning Aerial Service at the former Robert Mueller Airport in Austin, Texas, died on April 23. Browning was dubbed Austin’s “First Lady of Aviation” and was a founding member of NATA. She operated an FBO for more than 60 years, and over the years played hostess to the likes of Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh.

Robert Serling, 92, aviation journalist and writer best known for his best-selling 1967 novel The President’s Plane Is Missing, died on May 6. The older brother of Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, he served in the Army as an aircraft identification instructor during WWII, before becoming an award-winning aviation editor for United Press International and the manager of its radio news division. He published 24 aviation-themed books, including the histories of several airlines.

Paul Garabedian, 82, a New York University professor and director of the school’s division of computational fluid dynamics whose computer simulations in the 1960s and 1970s helped lead to the design of more fuel-efficient wings for jet airplanes, died on May 13 at his home in Manhattan. Garabedian’s computations proved that it
was possible to create a wing that produced no shockwaves at specific speed and values for lower drag. While his designs had limited practical use, they spurred the thinking of a generation of aerodynamic engineers.