People in Aviation: February 2014

 - February 3, 2013, 12:15 AM
During his more than four-decade-long career as a pilot, Robert Ruskay accumulated 14,000 flight hours, including 12,000 hours at the controls of business jets.

Sean O’Keefe, chairman and CEO of Airbus Group’s North American business unit, will resign his position effective March 1. His successor will be Allan McArtor, currently chairman of Airbus Americas, who will also join the Airbus Group Executive Committee.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Safe Flight Instrument has promoted Matthew Greene from v-p of program management to executive v-p.

Hastings Siegfried, Nordam’s vice chairman and COO of its transparency group, has been promoted to COO of Asia-Pacific sales and technical services.

Gulfstream has promoted Kevin Dutton from director of materials and production finance to v-p of operations finance. The Savannah airframer also appointed David Pearman as general manager of its service center in West Palm Beach, Fla. Previously he served as general manager of the OEM’s component repair facility in Lincoln, Calif.

Jim Coon has been named senior v-p of government affairs and advocacy for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Most recently he was executive v-p of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).

Jeff Standerski, previously Rockwell Collins v-p and general manager of business and regional systems, has been promoted to senior v-p of information management services. He is succeeded by Craig Olson, most recently senior director and site leader of the company’s head-up guidance systems business.

Aviation services provider AeroVision International of Muskegon, Mich., has selected Rick Cramblet, most recently Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW800 MRO network manager, to fill the newly created position of executive v-p.

Peter O’Callaghan, Air BP’s v-p of global sales and marketing, will be retiring on April 1 after 32 years with the company.

Illinois-based Priester Aviation named William McNease, previously director of operations and chief pilot for AMR Combs worldwide flight operations, as the company’s new v-p of flight operations and director of flight operations.

Brad Bruce, previously general manager of Landmark Aviation’s aircraft management and charter division, has been named v-p of sales at Pentastar Aviation.

Beechcraft appointed Don Milum, most recently a senior sales manager for Honeywell, avionics sales director for Hawker Beechcraft Services.

Aircraft care provider Spirit Aeronautics hired Patrick Gentile as regional sales manager for the U.S. southern region. Most recently, he was founder and president of Gentile Aircraft Consulting. The Columbus, Ohio-based company also added Tammie Hogan, most recently with Constant Aviation, as an aircraft upholstery technician.

St. Paul, Minn.-based aircraft brokerage Exclusive Aviation hired Patrick O’Brien, most recently Western U.S. sales executive with Eclipse Aerospace, as its director of aircraft sales.

Aircraft management and private jet charter provider Mountain Aviation has promoted T.J. Agresti from captain to general operations manager.

Philippe Merlo, most recently deputy CEO of the direction des Services de la navigation aérienne (DSNA) of France, has been named the new director of ATM at Eurocontrol.

Peter Fleiss, executive director of the Corporate Angel Network (CAN), announced his retirement. He will take the position of director emeritus. Dick Koenig, former publisher of Flying magazine, will succeed him at the helm of the business aviation charity.

International trip support provider UAS appointed several European regional business development managers. Based in the UK, Richard Walker will handle the Northern European market, including Scandinavia; Munich-based Richard Hekker will cover central Europe. From Vevey, Switzerland, Loredana Tramontano will manage the Mid-West European market; Milan, Italy-based Laura Crivelli will deal with South and Eastern European clients. The company also named Martin Deal fuel manager.

Bruce Marshall, former senior director and division general counsel at Flexjet, joined Oklahoma City-based AIC Title Service as general counsel.

Illinois-based business aviation services provider Elliott Aviation hired Scott Noack, previously Dallas facility sales manager with West Star Aviation, as regional sales manager for the south-central U.S.

FlightSafety International announced that Kelly Allender, previously manager of the company’s learning center in Tucson, has been named manager of the company’s Dallas facility. He replaces Daniel MacLellan, who was promoted to v-p of operations. Allender is succeeded at the Tucson facility by Randy Annett, who most recently served as assistant manager of the training provider’s Cessna Learning Center in Wichita.

Awards & Honors

The Southern California Aviation Association (SCAA) presented the third of its newly established Wings Awards to Curt Castagna, CEO and president of the Aerolease/Aeroplex Group, for his “remarkable professional accomplishments, deep commitment to advancing aviation in Southern California and long history of educating the community about the importance of airport businesses.” The SCAA Board of Directors established the Wings Award to promote and support excellence in aviation and to honor outstanding contributions to the aviation community.


Final Flight

Robert Ruskay, 70, a veteran corporate pilot, died on December 8 in Tucson, Ariz., after a short battle with cancer. After leaving the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963, he used the GI Bill to attend flight school and earn his pilot certification. During the 1970s he flew for Crane as a first officer and captain on a Lockheed JetStar based at New York Westchester County Airport, before moving on to Reader’s Digest, where he spent the next 17 years, eventually rising to aviation department manager. Ruskay later moved to Arizona, where in semi-retirement he worked as a contract pilot and at FlightSafety as a Challenger simulator instructor and check airman until his passing. During his more than four-decade-long career as a pilot, he accumulated 14,000 flight hours, including 12,000 hours at the controls of business jets.