People in Aviation: March 2014

 - March 5, 2014, 12:15 AM

Airbus Corporate Jets has appointed Benoit Defforge managing director. He will also maintain his previous role as head of the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC).

Bill Chiles, president and CEO of helicopter operator Bristow Group, announced he will retire at the end of July but will remain with the company in a consulting role for another two years. He will be replaced by senior v-p and CFO Jonathan Baliff.

Florida-based SimCom Training Centers has promoted Eric Hinson from president to CEO. He succeeds company founder Wally David, who transitioned to the role of non-executive board chairman.

In-flight programming provider Global Eagle Entertainment CFO Dave Davis has added the title of COO.

Tracy Biegler, formerly v-p with Enstrom Helicopter, has been promoted to president and CEO. He succeeds Jerry Mullins, who announced his retirement from the company.

Gulfstream has appointed Fabio Rebello, most recently regional v-p of sales for Latin America with Bombardier, as senior v-p of international sales for Florida and Latin America.

Louis Seno, formerly president and CEO of Jet Support Services (JSSI), has joined Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as v-p for corporate relations and government affairs.

Embraer Executive Jets has added two people to its regional sales teams. Peter Griffith will serve as v-p of sales and marketing for Europe and Africa, replacing Colin Steven, who is leaving the company. The Brazilian airframer also named Peter Walker v-p of sales and marketing for the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. He succeeds José Eduardo Costas, who will return to the company’s headquarters to take on a broader role as v-p of market intelligence.

Dassault Falcon has appointed three new sales managers to cover territories in the U.S. and Canada. Chris Hancock will serve states in the Northeastern U.S.; Kirsten Krueger, the Pacific Northwestern U.S. and Western Canada; and Rhett Reavis, the Mid-Atlantic U.S. states and Eastern Canada. Oliver Zuber, formerly the company’s marketing and business development manager for India, was named international sales manager for Africa for Dassault Aviation. Rob Connolly, previously contracts manager at the company’s U.S. headquarters, was named director of aircraft specifications and design. He replaces Roy Elsasser, who recently retired.

Illinois-based business aviation services provider Elliott Aviation has hired Brian Schank, previously director of sales with Gulfstream, as v-p of sales and marketing.

Roger Whyte, former senior v-p of sales and marketing with Cessna, was named chairman of trade association Central European Private Aviation (CEPA).

Canadian aircraft technology provider Flyht Aerospace Solutions has promoted Matt Bradley to president. He succeeds Bill Tempany, who will remain as CEO and keep his position on the board of directors

Charlie Hughes, most recently v-p of management sales at Executive Jet Management, has been appointed senior v-p of management sales at Illinois-based Priester Aviation.

StandardAero Business Aviation has named new leaders at two of its facilities. Kevin Malutinok, formerly v-p and general manager of Dassault Aircraft Services in Delaware, was named to the same title at the Arizona-based company’s Springfield, Ill. location, while Melissa Maddox, previously StandardAero’s corporate v-p for legal risk management, was tapped as v-p and general manager of the Houston site.

James Dillon-Godfray, previously business development director at London Oxford Airport, has taken up a new role as v-p of business development at UK-based Marshall Aviation Services.

FlightSafety International has promoted Dann Runik from manager of OEM and customer relations at the company’s Savannah learning center to executive director of advanced training programs. The training provider also promoted Marin Todorov from manager of eLearning systems to manager of specialty and enrichment training programs.

UK-based aircraft charter broker Air Partner has appointed Colin Jowers as global director of business technology. Most recently, he was COO of Royal Bank of Scotland’s global banking and markets research and strategy division.

Air Charter Service has promoted Justin Lancaster from group cargo director to group commercial director. He succeeds newly appointed vice chairman Justin Bowman.

UK-based aircraft charter specialist Hunt & Palmer has appointed David Macdonald, most recently group sales director for private jets with Air Partner, its new director of group sales.

Million Air has named Rick Boyce, previously director of aviation infrastructure and services with NetJets, its new director of FBO safety and operations.

Robert Randall has been promoted from U.S OEM sales manager to senior sales manager at Universal Avionics. He is succeeded by Chris Cannady, most recently engineering manager with B/E Aerospace.

Melbourne, Fla.-based avionics parts and installation specialist Southeast Aerospace has hired Darrel Davies, previously a purchasing agent with Heli-One, as regional sales representative for Canada.

Gary Forster, most recently ExecuJet’s FBO manager in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been assigned as the manager of the company’s new FBO in Bali.

Private jet management and charter provider Metropolitan Aviation has hired Tony Massinon, previously lead captain with Jet Aviation, as its new director of operations. The Virginia-based company also named Justin Harris its new director of safety.

Canadian aviation MRO provider Vector Aerospace has named Elise Bair Western U.S. regional sales manager at its Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America subsidiary.

UK-based MRO provider Jets has named Derick Naude senior sales and commercial representative, effective immediately. Before this appointment he was Embraer Executive Aircraft’s customer-support representative for the UK.

Chris Reuther, most recently lead manager of financial planning and analysis at Sikorsky Aerospace Services, has been selected as group v-p of finance with Circor Aerospace & Defense.

Patrick Carter, previously with Rocket Engineering, has joined the sales and support staff at Uvalde Texas-based Sierra Industries.

Greenwich AeroGroup subsidiary DAC International has promoted Julie Westcott from program and products sales manager to director of programs and products.

Dallas-based RBR Maintenance has hired Travis Roberson as A&P technician.

John Slieter, Duncan Aviation’s v-p of sales, was recently named chairman of Honeywell’s Channel Partner Advisory Board.

Awards and Honors

The California Aviation Hall of Fame has announced the members of its inaugural class. NASA astronaut Dr. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin was one of the three-man Apollo 11 crew that made the first lunar landing. Bob Hoover served as a World War II fighter pilot, test pilot, air race competitor and revered airshow performer. Bizav pioneer Clay Lacy is one of the highest-time pilots in the world, a former air race competitor and the operator of one of the first private jet charter businesses in the U.S. Frank Robinson is the founder and designer of Robinson Helicopters, the largest manufacturer of civil helicopters in the world. They will be inducted during a June 7 banquet at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying.

NASA has renamed its Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center in California the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center, in honor of the late Apollo 11 astronaut who was the first to set foot on the moon. Armstrong served seven years at the facility known then as NACA’s High Speed Flight Research Station at Edwards AFB. While there, he was one of only 12 pilots to fly the hypersonic X-15. In all, he flew more than 200 different types of aircraft during his career.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced the recipients of its highest awards. Congressman Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the House Small Business Committee, will receive the association’s William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award for his extraordinary achievement and extended meritorious service to the general aviation industry. A strong general aviation advocate and private pilot, Graves serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as a prominent member of the subcommittee on aviation. He also co-chairs the General Aviation Caucus, one of the largest bipartisan caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives. Marian Epps, CFO of Epps Aviation and treasurer on NATA’s board of directors, is this year’s recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her outstanding service and continuing contributions to the industry. The pair will be among those honored on March 3 at the association’s Aviation Business & Legislative Conference in Maryland.

Final Flights

Henry Ogrodzinski, 65, president and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) and a lifelong aviation advocate, died at his home in Washington after a two-year struggle with cancer. Following service in the U.S. Army, he built a career on many facets of general aviation, including stints as director of policy and planning with the Experimental Aircraft Association as well as its director of corporate communications. He then joined the General Aviation Manufacturers Association as head of its communications programs, where he became a spokesman for the industry. From there he was recruited by Gulfstream to become the airframer’s vice president of marketing and communications, during which time he orchestrated the domestic and international introductions of the GIV-SP and GV. He later served as president and CEO of the United States Air and Trade Show before joining NASAO in 1996. He also served on the boards of the National Aeronautic Association, the Aero Club of Washington, the Airport Cooperative Research Program and was on the committees that selected the annual Collier Trophy and fielded nominations for the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Arthur Wegner, 76, former Raytheon Aircraft chairman, died on January 27 after battling lung cancer. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he served as a nuclear submarine officer, and after leaving the service he earned his MBA at Harvard. During his 20 years with United Technologies he served as president of Pratt & Whitney and later headed the company’s aerospace and defense sector, including Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky and Hamilton Standard. He moved to Raytheon in 1993 and was instrumental in the consolidation of Beechcraft and Hawker into Raytheon Aircraft, serving as the chairman and CEO and later president of the division until his retirement in 2000.

James Armstrong, 90, a former corporate pilot and decorated WWII and Korean War combat pilot, died on January 22 in Dallas. During his military career he twice received the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as six Air Medals, and survived being shot down over China. After leaving the service as a lieutenant colonel, he became the personal pilot for the president and chairman of Texas Instruments and later established the company’s flight department, where he served as chief pilot and later director of aviation before retiring in 1983.