Signature Flight Support has signaled serious intent to expand its FBO chain outside North America by adding a managing director for Europe. The Orlando, Fla.-based group has hired David Best to fill the new role and has tasked him with expanding its network of business aircraft handling operations throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
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.
Mark King is the new president and CEO of International Aero Engines. King joined the company from Rolls-Royce, where he was executive v-p for airlines. He succeeded Steve Heath, who has returned to Pratt & Whitney as v-p of commercial engine programs and technical support.
Flight Options, the second-largest fractional aircraft provider, last month named Michael Scheeringa as COO. Formerly v-p of US Airways’ Express division, Scheeringa will be responsible for the overall operations, maintenance, procurement and customer care for Flight Options. He will report directly to Flight Options chairman and CEO John Nahill.
Long-time aviation journalist William David Wagstaff, 49, died on February 8, following complications from surgery. A lifetime aviation and space enthusiast, Bill was a full-time editor with Aviation International News from 1988 to 2003, serving in many capacities.
Aviation safety pioneer Jerome “Jerry” Lederer died February 6 at the age of 101 in Laguna Hills, Calif., of congestive heart failure. His lifelong dedication to preventing accidents made travel safer for everyone who flies aboard civilian aircraft.
Under pressure from its competitors, Eurocopter–still the number-one manufacturer in the civil helicopter market–is working hard to cope with a rapid production ramp-up of its own helicopters at a time when rivals are introducing a dizzying array of new models.
Bell Helicopter CEO Richard Millman yesterday emerged from the company’s booth (No. 1333) long enough to explain to HAI Convention News what he’s been up to since taking the helm of the company in January.
McKinney Aerospace recently announced several personnel changes. Rick Brainard, formerly v-p of sales and marketing, is now v-p of engineering, certification and quality. Billy McDonald, formerly director of interior completions, has been promoted to v-p of completions. Stephen McNally, formerly director of maintenance, was promoted to v-p of maintenance.
HAI president Matt Zuccaro sees a bright future for the helicopter industry and is optimistic that Heli-Expo’07 may break attendance records set at last year’s show
in Dallas. “Indications are that we have a chance at it,” he said at yesterday’s HAI press conference.
The helicopter industry as a whole is as healthy as it has ever been, at a time when the retirements of Vietnam-era pilots and mechanics are causing a shortage of qualified personnel.
HAI president Matt Zuccaro said the situation has not reached the crisis level yet, but he added that the shortage is being felt by operators who are having trouble filling the seats of their helicopters with qualified pilots.