People in Aviation: July 2012

 - July 3, 2012, 12:25 AM

Jay Johnson, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream parent company General Dynamics, will retire at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by Phebe Novakovic, who was recently named the company’s president and COO.

Airbus and Eurocopter parent company EADS has made changes to its executive staff. Arnaud Lagardère, managing partner of Lagardère SCA, was named chairman, while Thomas Enders, most recently CEO of Airbus, was appointed EADS CEO. He was replaced by Fabrice Brégier, who was promoted from Airbus COO. Günter Butschek, previously executive v-p of operations, was promoted to COO of engineering, procurement, quality & lean, IT & communications technology.

Israel Aerospace Industries has selected Joseph Weiss, currently corporate v-p and general manager of the systems, missiles and space group, as president and CEO. He succeeds Itzhak Nissan, who announced his retirement.

Global aircraft brokerage Jetcraft has named David Dixon, previously Bombardier Business Aircraft’s regional v-p for Asia Pacific, as president of Jetcraft Asia.

José Antonio de Almeida Filippo was named CFO of Embraer. Most recently he was executive of finance and corporate services of Companhia Brasileira de Distribuição.

Gulfstream has promoted Jeff Kreide from director of product lifecycle management to v-p of business solutions.

UK helicopter operator Bond Aviation Group has appointed Richard Mintern, most recently group COO of The Monarch Travel Group, as CEO. He succeeds Geoff Williams, who retired.

Former U.S. Army general Richard Sherlock has been appointed CEO by the Association of Air Medical Services. He replaces interim CEO John Fiegel.

John DeLisi has been selected as the new director of the NTSB’s office of aviation safety. He replaces Tom Haueter, who retired.

Global medical care and security provider MedAire has tapped Denio Alvarado as global director for aviation security. Before this appointment he was an Air Force One pilot and director of acquisitions and requirements for the U.S. government’s Presidential Airlift Group.

Hong Kong-based aircraft charter, management and maintenance provider Metrojet has appointed Steve Hughes as director of maintenance and engineering. He served previously in that same role with NetJets Europe.

Kip Catlin, most recently a captain at Northern Jet Management, has joined Waterford, Mich.-based Pentastar Aviation as chief pilot.

Indiana-based private lift provider Solutions Air has promoted Joe Montagna to chief pilot, and named Zach Grant assistant chief pilot and SMS program coordinator.

Business aviation aftermarket parts supplier CRS Jet Spares has promoted Jack Caloras from v-p of sales and operations to v-p of sales and business development.

Canadian in-flight connectivity provider Latitude Technologies has hired Peter Parrish as its new v-p of operations. He previously served as the company’s interim general manager.

Pete Dubois, most recently director of avionics sales at BizJet, has been hired by Chicago-based charter provider N-Jet as vice president of sales.

Paul Wood, previously general manager at Landmark Aviation’s Los Angeles FBO, has joined Cessna aircraft modification specialist Sierra Industries as director of sales and support.

Awards & Honors

The National Aeronautic Association selected Joseph Lombardo, executive vice president of General Dynamics’s aerospace group, as the recipient of this year’s Cliff Henderson Trophy.

The award is presented to “a living individual, group of individuals or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.” Lombardo’s career began in 1975 at Douglas Aircraft, where he held leadership roles in many segments. He joined Gulfstream in 1996 as vice president of co-production, responsible for the successful ramp-up and production of the Gulfstream IV-SP and GV. As COO, he was responsible for the cost, quality and schedule of Gulfstream’s manufactured products.

Eurocontrol director general David McMillan and International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) director general Don Spruston were the recipients of the 2012 European Business Aviation Awards from EBAA and NBAA. Both were honored for their “outstanding service to the business aviation industry.” EBAA said that under McMillan, “Eurocontrol has produced a number of studies pointing to the [business aviation] industry’s value,” making him a “true friend.” Spruston was honored for “advocating for the interests and concerns of business aviation before the International Civil Aviation Organization” while at IBAC.

Four European private aviation providers were recently honored as recipients of the 2012 European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) Safety of Flight Awards, given their outstanding safety records. DC Aviation, PrivatAir and TAG Aviation were awarded EBAA’s Platinum Safety of Flight Award for achieving at least 50 years or 100,000 hours of safe flying, while VistaJet received the Silver Safety of Flight Award for achieving at least 30 years or 60,000 hours without an accident.

Final Flights

Evelyn Johnson, 102, a Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), died on May 10 in Elizabethtown, Tenn. Known as “Mama Bird” in the flight instruction community, she owned a flight school and trained approximately 5,000 pilots during her half-century career, more than any other instructor in the history of U.S. aviation. Johnson earned her pilot certificate in 1945 and joined the volunteer CAP in 1949. Her logbook shows more than 57,000 flight hours (a record for a female pilot) and 5.5 million miles flown without a single accident. She was the 20th woman in the U.S. to receive a helicopter pilot certificate and was also a certified rotorcraft flight instructor. A member of the Ninety-Nines and Whirly Girls, Johnson also managed Tennessee’s Moore Murrell Municipal Airport in Morristown. Selected as the FAA’s flight instructor the year in 1979, she was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007.

Avionics pioneer Edward King, Jr. died at the age of 90 on June 3 at his home near Eugene, Ore. After graduating from college in 1943, King took a job with RCA, designing aircraft radio equipment for the U.S. Navy, and soon after started his first company, Communications Accessories, which Collins Radio (now Rockwell Collins) bought in 1956. He then went on to found King Radio, which eventually employed thousands of workers who developed and produced world-class navigation and communication equipment for all types of general aviation aircraft. In 1985 King sold King Radio to AlliedSignal/Bendix Aerospace and retired from the avionics business to join family members in creating Oregon’s King Estate Winery, now one of the state’s largest wine producers. NBAA recognized King’s accomplishments by presenting him with a special NBAA First Century of Flight Award in 2003. He also received the association’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award in 1988.

Paul Heaver, 54, vice president of completions and modifications at JetCorp Technical Services, died suddenly on May 20 in Lake St. Louis, Mo. He joined Canadian completions specialist Flying Colours in 2007 as director of business development and was promoted to v-p of completions at its JetCorp subsidiary in 2010. He had amassed a quarter century of industry experience, working with the likes of de Havilland and Bombardier. Heaver was recognized for his role in the success of Flying Colours’ conversion program for the Bombardier CRJ as well as the company’s Challenger 850 completions.

Gary Garvens, 77, owner and CEO of Texas-based Engine Components International, died on May 31, following a battle with cancer. He joined the family business in 1960 and over the next half century built its domestic and international operations. A champion of the piston aircraft engine industry, Garvens served as president of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) and as a board member of the Modification and Replacement Parts Association (Marpa).

David Garrett, Jr., 89, the former Delta Air Lines chairman and CEO who oversaw the airline in executive roles for decades, died on June 2 at his home in Dawsonville, Ga. He joined Delta in 1946 as a reservations agent, became president in 1971 and served as the airline’s CEO from 1978 until his retirement in 1987. He remained on the board until 1994. During his time at the helm of the airline, Delta’s employees expressed their pride in the company by chipping in to purchase it a Boeing 767 as a gift.

John Blake, 87, a noted aviation historian and legendary UK airshow commentator, died on May 23 at a nursing home in Charing, Ky. A member of the Irish Guards during WWII, he participated in the Normandy Invasion and later lost his right hand during a training accident when a fellow soldier dropped a live grenade, which exploded as Blake attempted to get rid of it. After the war he attended art school and eventually became a Fellow of the Guild of Aviation Artists. While employed as the librarian for the Royal Aero Club in the 1960s, Blake was asked to provide commentary at a small air show, which led to a career as the quintessential British flying-display commentator, known for his vast subject knowledge, poised delivery and finely honed wit.