The year 2003–the centennial of manned, powered flight–was supposed to be the one where aviation shone brightly. Instead, the entire aviation industry was a bit under the weather, riding out a turbulent market marred by a sour economy and the long-lasting after-effects of 9/11.
Interviews with people of interest in aerospace, including those in industry, government and AIN’s “Bizav Warriors.” Topics include announcements of personnel changes, awards and final departures.
It’s that time of the year when AIN’s editors cast our collective mind back over the people and the events that captured our attention through the past 12 months and inspired the thousands of manuscript pages that filled our 2004 issues. Despite (or because of) the U.S.’s preoccupation with a repeat of 9/11, it didn’t happen, and the turnaround in the fortunes of the U.S.
For the second time since 1975, Russ Meyer is not chairman of Cessna Aircraft. Early last month, Meyer quietly retired as chairman with the honorary title of chairman emeritus. Simultaneously, Cessna president and CEO Jack Pelton assumed the chairman post.
French supermarket tycoon Paul-Louis Halley, who had amassed a personal fortune estimated at $3.75 billion and was listed by Forbes as the 104th richest man in the world, died along with his wife and their pilot in the crash of a Socata TBM 700 (N30LT) at Oxford (Kidlington) Airport (EGTK), UK, on December 6. Inbound from Brussels Airport (EBBR), Belgium, the pilot was conducting an NDB/DME approach to Runway 01 at EGTK.
HAI announced recipients for two of its awards that will be presented at Heli-Expo February 7 in Anaheim, Calif. Elling Halvorson, founder and chairman of Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters in Grand Canyon, Ariz., will receive the Lawrence D. Bell Award. The 2004 Aviation Maintenance Technician Award will be presented to Rich Barnett, Gulf Coast maintenance manager for Air Logistics in New Iberia, La.
Tim Travis, media relations manager for Raytheon Aircraft, died December 9. He was 46. Travis joined the corporate communications department at Raytheon Aircraft in 1997. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, four children, his parents, two sisters, two step-brothers and a step-sister. A memorial fund has been established with the Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Sedgwick County, 219 N. St. Francis, Wichita, KS 67202.
Roger Engel, a ferry pilot with Broomfield, Colo.-based Pilatus Aircraft, recently completed his 100th transatlantic crossing in a PC-12. Starting in Bern, Switzerland, Engel made stops in Prestwick, Scotland; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Iqualuit and Thunder Bay, Canada, before completing the journey in Denver. Total flight time was 21 hours and 18 minutes.
James Lara is the new president and COO of Tempe, Ariz.-based MedAire. Joan Sullivan Garrett, the firm’s founder, CEO and chairman, will concentrate on driving the company’s visionary leadership, high-level promotion and strategic growth. Lara served on MedAire’s board of directors from 1996 until early last year. Kjell Andreassen, executive v-p and COO, will be leaving the firm to pursue other opportunities.
Steve Brown took over as NBAA senior vice president of operations three months ago, but he is an old hand on the Washington scene. Before accepting the NBAA post, he served as a senior vice president of AOPA, president of the National Aeronautic Association, and most recently as FAA associate administrator for air traffic services and then vice president of operations planning in the FAA’s new Air Traffic Organization (ATO).
One thing that pilots have in common with most people is that, from time to time, they wish they were doing something else in their chosen field. In the coming months, AIN’s rotorcraft editor will interview rotorcraft pilots in a range of flying jobs to find out how they got to where they are and, in their opinion, what’s hot and what’s not about the work they do. This month he starts in China.