Howard Ragsdale, senior vice president of business development for Denver-based Air Methods and this year’s winner of the Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award, has spent most of his aviation career in air medical operations. Along with Archie Gray, senior vice president of aviation services, he is one of two long-time employees of Air Methods to receive an HAI Salute to Excellence Award this year. The “Golden Hour,” of course, refers to the period of time after a person has been severely injured during which, if given medical care, he or she has the greatest chance of survival.
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.
A Sikorsky RH-4 made the first documented rescue by helicopter on Nov. 29, 1945, so it’s not surprising that Sikorsky sponsors the HAI Humanitarian Award. This year’s award goes to the Gander, Newfoundland-based flight crew of a Royal Canadian Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter for a successful rescue accomplished under extreme weather conditions on Feb. 9, 2013.
Elan Head, recipient of the Helicopter Association International’s 2014 Excellence in Communications Award, had her first helicopter ride in a Bell JetRanger in 2004, while working on a story about a high-end fishing lodge in British Columbia. “It was hands-down the coolest thing I’d ever done,” she told AIN.
Goh Yong Kiat is a rare individual: a senior manager in the aerospace industry who is also an avid aviation enthusiast and historian. This home-grown talent has just published his fifth book, a pictorial history of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) entitled “Full Spectrum Force.”
Goh’s backlist includes histories of air logistics in the RSAF, and the history of Tengah airbase. But his major work was “Where Lions Fly,” a comprehensive history of aviation in Singapore, which was published in 2012 and is still available from Straits Times Press.
William Chiles, who has led global offshore helicopter services company Bristow Group for the last decade, will retire effective July 31 and be replaced by current CFO Jonathan Baliff. Chiles will remain as a consultant to the company through 2016. During Chiles’s tenure, Bristow grew rapidly and posted record profits. Baliff, who held senior positions at NRG Energy and Credit Suisse before joining Bristow in 2010, is a former USAF pilot with degrees in aerospace engineering and international relations.
Embraer Executive Jets appointed Peter Griffith vice president of sales and marketing for Europe and Africa and Peter Walker vice president of sales and marketing for the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. José Eduardo Costas, who has overseen Middle East and Asia-Pacific sales since 2008, will return to the company’s headquarters in Brazil to take on a broader role as vice president of market intelligence for Embraer Executive Jets. All will report to Marco Túlio Pellegrini, who became president and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets on January 1.
Effective Saturday, Tracy Biegler will be the new president and CEO at Menominee, Mich.-based Enstrom Helicopter. He will succeed Jerry Mullins, who is retiring after 10 years at the helm of the light helicopter manufacturer. Mullins will continue to work as a consultant to Enstrom until the end of this year. Biegler, a 26-year industry veteran, joined Enstrom 10 years ago and is currently serving as vice president. He said the change in leadership will support the continued growth at Enstrom initiated by Mullins.
StandardAero Business Aviation has named Kevin Malutinok and Melissa Maddox, respectively, as the new vice presidents and general managers of the company’s Springfield, Ill. and Houston, Texas facilities. They will be responsible for the sales and operational performance of each of their businesses. Malutinok comes to StandardAero from Dassault Aircraft Services in Wilmington, Del., where he served as the site’s vice president and general manager.
General aviation advocate and former Cessna Aircraft chief Russ Meyer received the Wichita Aero Club Trophy on Saturday. In introducing Meyer before he was bestowed with the Wichita Aero Club’s highest honor, NBAA chairman and CEO Ed Bolen called him “one of the most significant figures in general aviation history.” Meyer joined Cessna in 1974, and over his 31-year tenure there the Wichita company delivered 67,000 aircraft. He also worked to establish the FAA’s Airport and Airway Trust Fund in 1970 and was central to the passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act in 1994.
NBAA’s board of directors elected Jim Schwertner as the organization’s newest director. Schwertner, the president and CEO of Texas-based Capitol Land & Livestock, is an ATP with rotorcraft and seaplane ratings, as well as a CitationJet type rating. His initial term on the NBAA board is for one year, and in October he is expected to stand for election for a three-year term. He will serve NBAA without compensation.