People in Aviation: February 2012

 - February 4, 2012, 4:25 AM

Gulfstream has promoted Bill McLeod from sales director for the Midatlantic region to v-p of North American sales, central division. The Savannah airframer also appointed Christopher Ellender as a Europe-based senior regional sales manager for product support sales. Most recently, he led the global aircraft sales and acquisitions division for FirstFlight.

Dassault Falcon has promoted Antoine Ajarrista from production director of its Bordeaux-Merignac facility to senior v-p and general manager of its Little Rock completion center in Arkansas. He succeeds Frederic Lherm, who was named senior v-p of industrial operations for Dassault Aviation in St Cloud, France.

Missouri-based component repair and coating specialist PAS Technologies has named Tom Hutton CEO. Most recently he was v-p of Pratt & Whitney’s global service partners, maintenance, repair and overhaul division.

Itzhak Nissan, president and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries, announced that he plans to retire at the end of October.

Piper Aircraft has named Wes Norris, previously director of customer experience for Hawker Beechcraft’s completion center in Little Rock, Ark., as its new director of aftermarket business.

Aircraft maintenance program provider Jet Support Services (JSSI) has named Tom Poberezny, chairman emeritus of the Experimental Aircraft Association, as the newest member of its board of advisors. The company also hired Ed Baliff as a product line specialist and Zane Cox as a technical advisor. Both were previously with Rolls-Royce.

Adam Steiger, most recently Northeast sales manager for Avinode/CharterX, has been tapped by aircraft services provider TWC Aviation as its director of business development.

Landmark Aviation has named Carlos Graziani general manager of its Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport location. Before this appointment he was operations manager for Atlantic Aviation’s Tucson facility.

Dr. Warren Silberman, former manager of the FAA’s aeromedical certification division, has joined Oklahoma City-based consultancy Pilot Medical Solutions as chief medical advisor.

Michael Gallagher has joined Spectrum Aeromed as v-p project manager. Previously he was an owner of a construction company.

MRO specialist Constant Aviation has named Jay Randall as Great Lakes regional sales manager.

Hong Kong-based business jet operator Metrojet has appointed Denzil White, one of the co-founding partners of ExecuJet, as director of flight operations.

NationAir Aviation Insurance has added Robert Nadr to its team as a sales executive. He previously operated information technology firm Nadr POS.

Tulsa, Okla.-based aircraft component manufacturer Nordam has promoted Jeff Chalupa from senior director of global engineering and quality for the company’s repair division to general manager of domestic operations for its transparency division.

Mark Dennen, most recently CFO for Key Air, has accepted the same position with San Francisco-based Solairus Aviation.

Tempe, Ariz.-based MRO provider StandardAero, Business Aviation has appointed Greg Diognardi to the newly created position of Falcon 900 technical sales manager. Previously he was a regional sales manager with Landmark Aviation.

Mark Ringel, most recently with law firm Crowell & Moring, has joined Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger as a partner in its aviation and aircraft transactions practices.

Teterboro Airport-based Meridian Air Charter has named Dan Govatos its new director of operations. Most recently he was lead captain with Key Air.

Michael Harkins has joined engine repair and overhaul specialist Dallas Airmotive as regional engine manager for the Mid-Atlantic states.

FlightSafety International has promoted Dr. Nidal Sammur from staff scientist to director of engineering for the company’s simulation facility in Broken Arrow, Okla.

California-based aviation services provider JetFlite International has hired two new maintenance managers at its Farmingdale-Republic Airport location in New York. Joe Cupaiolo was previously a crew chief at Excel Airways, while Adam Delhotal worked for JetBlue Airways as an aircraft technician.

François André has been chosen as manager of Le Castellet International Airport in the south of France. Previously he managed nearby La Môle St. Tropez Airport.

Czech Republic-based private aviation provider ABS Jets has promoted Jiri Hrna from sales manager to senior key account manager.

American Eurocopter has named two new members to its marketing team. Kris DeSoto was tapped as regional marketing manager for the Northeast region, while Glenn Murray was selected for the same role in the Midwest. Both were previously regional sales managers for Bell Helicopter.

Joey Crawford, most recently with Crownair, has joined Carlsbad, Calif. FBO Jet Source as chief inspector for the aircraft maintenance and avionics department.

Canadian MRO provider Vector Aerospace has promoted Brian Thompson, formerly president of Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic division (Vaesa), to senior v-p of the company’s global engine services unit. He was succeeded by Jeff Poirier, previously Vaesa v-p of customer and technical services.

Tallahassee, Fla.-based aviation services provider Flightline Technical Services has added Joe Garcia and Joe Volker to its staff as aviation technicians.

Bud Ackerman has joined the aircraft sales team at California-based aviation services provider Axis Jet.

Trevor King, previously with Signature Flight Support’s FBO at London Luton Airport, has joined London Stansted Airport-based Inflite The Jet Centre as the FBO’s director of business development.

Tennessee-based business aviation consultancy Gray Stone Advisors has added two staff members. Richard Stone, previously president, CFO and controller for the Sea Ray Boat Group, was named senior advisor for leadership and finance. Jay Povlin, formerly senior v-p at Brunswick, was selected as senior advisor for marketing and analytics.

Helicopter Association International has named Jessica Kuney as its shows and expositions coordinator.

Flight planning application developer Enflight appointed chairman Dr. Robert Glorioso and v-p of marketing John Gitelman to its executive team.

Jeff Bosque, the former president of Associated Air Center, has joined Jet Works Air Center to establish a large-cabin advisory board.

Bizav consultancy Oriens Advisors has added Horst Brockmueller, chairman and managing partner of Catalyst Equity Partners, to its team as an investment and business aviation expert.

Kris Cannon, TWC Aviation’s director of safety and security, has been appointed to NBAA’s Security Council.

Final Flights

Daryl Murphy, 76, a longtime contributor to Aviation International News and other aviation trade publications, died January 3 in Irving, Texas. Murphy liked to say he was born about a month before the DC-3 made its first flight and made his debut in aviation the same year as the Learjet 24. After joining the marketing division of Cessna Aircraft in 1965, Murphy went on to own a creative agency from 1974 to 1982 and then joined GKD Advertising in Oklahoma City as a senior aviation writer. In 1985, he became editor of General Aviation News in Dallas. When GAN merged with Western Flyer in 1990, he continued his “Gadding with GAN” column in the combined publication. When he wasn’t ferreting out other people’s aviation tales, Murphy was spinning his own.

Robert Smyth, 85, a former Gulfstream vice president of flight operations, died January 10 at his home in the Leeward Air Ranch, Ocala, Fla. He earned his wings in the U.S. Navy, where he made the transition from prop-powered fighter aircraft to the first carrier-borne jets. In 1952, he completed the Navy’s Test Pilot School and several years later joined Grumman as an engineering test pilot. Along with the development of combat aircraft and the Apollo lunar module, he also contributed to the certification of the Gulfstream I twin turboprop, the first dedicated business aircraft. In April 1960 he made the first flight of the A-6A Intruder; six years later he became the project pilot for the Gulfstream II, commanding its first flight in October 1966. The following year Grumman appointed him chief test pilot. In 1970 Smyth and Bill Miller made the first flight in the F-14 Tomcat, and about a week later the duo earned the distinction of being the first crew to eject from the type. In 1981 Smyth left Grumman to join Gulfstream Aerospace, from which he retired in 1993.