People in Aviation: April 2011

 - March 26, 2011, 8:30 AM

Charles Celli has been named v-p of Gulfstream’s Savannah service center operations. Most recently he was senior v-p for completions services, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia for fellow General Dynamics company Jet Aviation.

Sikorsky announced two executive appointments. Anthony Moreland, formerly the company’s regional sales executive for India,was promoted tov-p for the Americas, while Christophe Nurit, most recently v-p of sales and marketing for MD Helicopters, was named v-p for Asia.

JSSI has appointed Chuck Woods as president, Asia-Pacific. He previously served as CEO of Jet Asia. The services provider also promoted Walter Given to helicopter product line specialist.

CHC Helicopter has announced a number of executive management changes. Christine Baird, the Canadian firm’s president of global operations, has announced her retirement. Tilmann Gabriel transitioned from president of European operations to take over leadership of CHC’s search-and-rescue division, while Scott Pinfield, most recently managing director of European operations, has been appointed interim leader of the new flying operations division. Michael O’Neill will assume the position of chief legal counsel, replacing Martin Lockyer, who has also announced his retirement from CHC. O’Neill joins CHC after serving as senior v-p and general counsel for Lenovo.

Hawker Beechcraft named Patrick Kelly interim CFO and principal financial officer. Before this appointment, he served as interim CEO for Express Jet Airlines. The Wichita airframer also announced that Bob Blouin has been named v-p of government and industry relations, based in Washington, D.C. Ken Qualls, founder of Flight Management Solutions, was appointed v-p of flight operations.

Vancouver-based helicopter MRO specialist Associated Aviation has appointed Adrienne Robinson, previously with Vector Airspace, as CEO. The company has also appointed Peter Novy its eastern U.S. sales and service manager for helicopter engines and components.

American Eurocopter has named Treg Manning v-p of sales. Most recently he was senior v-p of business development at Med-Trans.

Jim McNeill, previously v-p of Landmark Aviation’s Canadian operations, was promoted to regional v-p.

Dennis Olcott has joined Centennial, Colo.-based composite and systems solutions provider AdamWorks as senior v-p of engineering. Most recently, he served as Piper Aircraft’s v-p of engineering.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based aviation services provider Jet Source has promoted Jay Brentzel to president. He continues as the company’s director of operations.

Rick Stine, previously senior v-p of technical operations at Heico, has joined StandardAero’s newly established components division as senior v-p.

Flexjet has named J. Bruce Peddle as its new v-p of sales and marketing. He was previously v-p of Embraer North America’s airline market. Simon Maina, most recently president of Premier Aviation, joined the company as fractional sales director serving the west central U.S. Steve Taylor, formerly, senior v-p of business development at Pentastar Aviation in Michigan, will serve as a jet card sales director in the northern central U.S., while Chea Neitzel will serve that role in New York City.

Gregory Sahr, most recently a regional sales director with StandardAero, has joined aviation services provider Elliott Aviation as v-p of sales, marketing and business development.

Dart Helicopter Services announced a change in the company’s leadership. Mike O’Reilly, president of Eagle Copters in Calgary, Alberta, has succeeded Jeff Shapiro as president of the Oceanside Calif.-based company. O’Reilly will remain with Eagle Copters in addition to assuming his new responsibilities. Shapiro and Ron Gladnick have sold their investment interest in the business to Dart’s existing shareholders.

Signature Flight Support has appointed Karl Bowles as sales manager for its recently opened Middle East sales office. Most recently, he was director of business development, Middle East, for JSSI. Robert Grant, general manager of the company’s Palm Beach International Airport facility, became general manager of Signature’s Dulles FBO in Washington D.C. Sandy Showalter of Showalter Flying Service stepped into his role as president of the Florida Aviation Trades Association.

Brian Foster, previously v-p of flight operations for Air Methods, has joined Med-Trans as v-p of flight operations. 

Private aviation provider TWC Aviation has promoted Alex Joya from manager of business operations to v-p of business development. The Los Angeles-based company also named Michael Lederer, formerly a sales executive with Bombardier, its director of aircraft sales and acquisition.

Steve Wright has been named v-p of Canadian aircraft charter and management provider Blackcomb Aviation.

Duncan Aviation has appointed Bill Otte regional manager for the central eastern U.S. Previously, he was maintenance director for Classic Jet Center in Ohio. The maintenance provider also named Rick Randall, recently its regional manager for the Great Lakes, as its new south central U.S. regional manager.

International jet sales consultancy Aviatrade has appointed Jerry Connolly its European director. The head of his own consultancy, Connolly retired from the Royal Air Force as air vice-marshal.

Piper Aircraft has promoted Vincent Zarrella from senior manager of customer operations to director of customer service. Jim Slaton, previously manager of warranty, was named senior manager of parts sales.

UK helicopter charter and management specialist PremiAir has appointed Mike Preston director of engineering and maintenance. Previously he served as accountable {{CE to confirm}} manager/director of maintenance for NetJets (Europe) Technical Services.

Thomas Kinton Jr., CEO and executive director of the Massachusetts Port Authority, announced his retirement.

John Burnum, formerly regional sales manager for King Aerospace, was chosen as director of business development for aircraft maintenance provider Business Jet Access.

Helicopter completions and repair provider Metro Aviation has hired Richard Gross as assistant director of operations. Previously he was a senior director of sales for American Eurocopter.

Waco, Texas turboprop modification specialist Blackhawk has promoted Edwin Black from director of marketing and sales to director of global sales. Scott Cheairs, previously with Hawker Beechcraft Services, will fill the newly created position of director of core parts sales.

Paragon Aviation Group has added Scott Jefvert, previously with Galvan Flying Services in Seattle, to the company as director of sales. 

West Star Aviation has named Kurt Sutterer, the recently retired president of Midcoast Aviation, to its board of directors. The Dallas-based MRO provider also appointed Dale Appleby technical sales manager.

Private aviation provider National Jets announced that George Martinez will take over the company’s sales and marketing departments in addition to his role as director of flight programs. Flight coordinators Seth Thompson and Patrick Frawley have been promoted to manager of flight programs and manager of sales and marketing, respectively, for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company.

Phillips 66 Aviation has announced the promotion of several team members. R. G. Still, former director of branded sales for general aviation, has been promoted to manager of wholesale sales mid-continent, global marketing for ConocoPhillips. He was replaced by Rick Duste, the company’s former director of programs development for general aviation. Rosemary Leone, previously business improver for general aviation, succeeded Duste.

Wichita-based business and regional aircraft parts supplier has named four new sales representatives. Chris Allison and Bryan Hickey, formerly with Avgroup, will serve the southeast U.S., while Teri Lang, most recently with Honeywell International, will cover the southwest. Don Demuth will handle the West Coast.

NVG cockpit modifications specialist Aero Dynamix has named Tonka Hufford operations manager for project development. Most recently he was president of RSG Aviation.

Hannah Mitchison, most recently with Orange Aero, has joined engine repair and overhaul provider BBA Aviation as regional sales manager covering the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. Ron Gottschalk has joined subsidiary Dallas Airmotive as regional sales manager for the company’s Pratt & Whitney Canada engine services.

George Hunyadi, president of BankNote Aviation and member of NBAA’s board of directors, announced his retirement. He was Rubbermaid’s chief pilot for 30 years. o

Final flights

Jean Boulet, 90, a former Eurocopter test pilot, died on February 15. In 1947 he joined SNCASE (it eventually became the helicopter division of Aérospatiale) and earned his helicopter pilot certificate. He eventually became the company’s head of helicopter testing, a title he would hold for more than two decades until his retirement. During his career he logged more than 9,000 flight hours, 8,000 of them in rotorcraft, including the first flights of the SE3000, the SE3101, the Alouette, Frelon, Puma, Gazelle and Lama.

Boulet set 17 helicopter world records, including highest altitude. While piloting a Lama on June 21, 1972, he reached an altitude of more than 40,820 feet, a record that stands to this day. He was a recipient of the X Supaéro engineering degree from the French aeronautics institute in Toulouse.

Leland Snow, 80, founder and president of Air Tractor and the inventor of modern aerial spray aircraft, died on February 20. He designed his first aerial spray airplane in 1951 at the age of 21, and in 1965 sold his company to Rockwell-Standard and was appointed vice president of the Aero Commander division. After he resigned from Rockwell he formed his own company in 1972. In 2010, Air Tractor delivered its 2,500th aircraft. In July 2008 he transferred ownership of Air Tractor to its employees through an employee stock ownership plan. Snow remained involved in Air Tractor aircraft design and manufacturing until his death.

Justin B. “Jack” Cox, 77, pilot, award-winning journalist and lifelong aviation supporter, died on March 6 in Asheboro, N.C. An employee of the Experimental Aircraft Association for nearly three decades, he was named editor-in-chief of the organization’s Sport Aviation magazine, (his wife, Golda, served as managing editor) in 1972, and would hold that title until his retirement in 1999. In 1981 the pair also began publishing the quarterly Sportsman Pilot, which Cox ran until his death. He received his pilot’s license in 1963 and over the years owned and flew eight different aircraft. During his aviation writing career he received many awards, including one from the Aviation/Space Writers Association for his article on the around-the-world flight of Voyager in 1986.

Barbara Harmer, 57, the first female pilot qualified to fly the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic airliner, died of cancer on February 20. After initial employment as a hairdresser, she changed careers to become an air traffic controller, working at London Gatwick Airport. She eventually earned a commercial pilot’s license and became a flying instructor, before joining small UK commuter airline Genair. In 1984, as a member of British Caledonian (BCal) Airways, she flew BAC One-Elevens before migrating to McDonnell Douglas DC-10s. When British Airways acquired BCal, she successfully applied to join the Concorde fleet, which she flew from 1993. After withdrawal of the supersonic airliner, she flew BA Boeing 777s. o