People in Aviation: October 2012

 - October 3, 2012, 1:40 AM

Kurt Edwards, formerly the FAA senior advisor for policy, international aviation, and environment, was named director general of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). He replaces Donald Spruston, who is retiring.

Signature Flight Support has appointed Sami Teittinen as CFO. Before this appointment he held the same position for sister company ASIG.

Mike Flint, previously v-p and sales director for corporate aircraft finance with GE Capital, has joined CIT Business Aircraft as v-p of U.S. sales.

UK-based private jet charter and per-seat market broker Victor has appointed Stef Slavujevic as head of AOC partner development. Most recently he was v-p of global sales and business development at Flight Focus.

Chris Young, previously manager for integration and assurance at Sikorsky Aircraft, was named v-p of helicopter aviation services at Argus International subsidiary Professional Resources In System Management (Prism).

Jet Aviation has restructured its EMEA and Asia organization into two separate divisions. Kim Chan, most recently with China Alstom, was named v-p and head of Jet Aviation Asia, while Stefan Benz, formerly v-p of MRO sales for EMEA and Asia, will now serve as v-p of MRO and FBO services EMEA operations.

Pennsylvania-based air medical services provider Keystone Med-Flight has appointed Paul Rayhill, most recently president of Aviation Services Unlimited, as its new president. He succeeds Rick Hinkle, who has taken the position of chief marketing officer at parent company Hawke Aerospace.

Jon Anne Doty, most recently v-p of sales and marketing at Renaissance Jet, was named v-p of operations at Phoenix-based aviation services company Strat Fuel Consortium.

Crane Aerospace & Electronics has appointed Bob Ferrante as v-p of the microwave solution of the electronics group. Previously he was v-p and general manager of ITT Exelis’s airborne electronic attack division.

Oxford, Conn.-based Key Air has appointed Ada Furano as v-p of finance. Previously she served as director of accounting for TAG Aviation its successor companies. The aviation services provider also named Jeff Troccolo, formerly director of flight operations for Polygon Air, as chief pilot.

Robert Kirsch, previously general manager of operations for Pratt & Whitney Canada, has been selected as the new director of operations for San Antonio-based engine overhaul specialist Kelly Aviation Center.

UK-based business charter operator FlairJet has appointed Carlo Montanini as commercial director. He served previously as Northern Europe commercial director for Austrian-based GlobeAir.

Aircraft maintenance, sales and management provider Elliott Aviation announced two staff changes. Conrad Theisen, previously senior project manager, was named avionics sales manager, while Mike Warren, formerly the Moline, Ill.-based company’s completions parts buyer, was promoted to maintenance sales manager.

Landing gear and hydraulic systems specialist Circor Aerospace has selected Kayce Kraft, previously aftermarket business team leader at Parker Hannifin, as product line director for California.

Universal Avionics has promoted John Bullis from field service engineer to regional sales manager for Northern Europe.

New Hampshire-based aircraft repair and modification specialist Pro Star Aviation has promoted Daren Remmert from customer quality manager to avionics installation manager.

Aeronautical communication systems manufacturer International Communications Group (ICG) has added several new employees. Davert Leong, most recently a communications technician with the U.S. Army, has been hired as an electrical engineer, while David Casey, formerly with Rockwell Collins, was named lead embedded software engineer. Doyle Sisson was chosen as project manager in the company’s commercial aircraft systems division. Before this appointment he was a senior program manager at BaySys Technologies. The Virginia-based company also tapped Debbie Glass, previously with Avidyne, as a technical writer.

Cabin interior materials manufacturer Kydex has promoted Mike Karr from North America business manager to director of operations.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association has named Jena Longo, previously deputy communications director for the Senate commerce, science, and transportation committee as its new communications director. The trade group also announced that Gerry Block, president and CEO of Sandel Avionics, has been appointed to its board of directors.

Paul Barber, previously v-p and general manager of Dassault Aircraft Services, was appointed director of product development Wisconsin-based Helicopter Specialties.

Oregon-based Hillsboro Aviation has hired Giancarlo Newsome as director of sales and services. Previously he was director of marketing with Clockwork Solutions in Texas.

Awards and Honors

Former NBAA director Steve Nielsen was selected as this year’s recipient of NBAA’s John H. Winant Award, which recognizes former NBAA directors whose service to business aviation has continued well beyond their tenure on the association’s board. Currently vice president of operations for Baldwin Aviation Safety and Compliance and director of aviation for Avalon Capital, Nielsen was a founder of the Southern California Aviation Association (SCAA) and currently serves as its president.

Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino was named as the recipient of this year’s Aircraft Design Award by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Designer of the light HondaJet, he was recognized for the jet’s innovations, particularly for “pioneering the unique over-the-wing engine mount configuration” that reduces its drag, boosting the aircraft’s fuel efficiency, performance and interior space.

Final Flights

Neil Armstrong, 82, died August 25, following complications after cardiovascular surgery. A former navy combat and NASA test pilot, Armstrong was the commander of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission astronaut and became the first human to set foot on another heavenly body when he stepped off the lunar lander onto the surface of the Moon. Shunning the spotlight for the remainder of his life, Armstrong later served in the corporate sector and as an engineering professor. For more on his life, see “Godspeed, Neil Armstrong” by AIN editor Nigel Moll at

Edward Sowa, 79, a founder and general manager of SimuFlite in Dallas, died at his home in Penn Laird, Va., on July 22. He began his long aviation career with the U.S. Marine Corps as a fighter pilot during the 1950s, and after leaving the service he joined the business aviation community, eventually serving as chief pilot for IBM’s flight department. Sowa later was a founder and executive with a Texas-based pediatric healthcare service network.

Gary Steele, 69, the FBO manager for the Charlotte County Airport Authority in Florida, died August 25. A lifelong fan of aviation, he served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War era.