J. Richard “Dick” Bennett, 88, the founder of Pensacola Aviation, died on November 17 in Florida. A heavy bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he was later involved in the lumber manufacturing and timber business as well as aircraft sales. He also served as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party before founding Pensacola Aviation in 1977.
Geography of the United States
Hawker Beechcraft and the state of Kansas reached an agreement late last month that will keep the airframer in Wichita for at least the next decade.
Twin Falls, Idaho-based Reeder Flying Service has joined the Avfuel dealer network. Reeder is awarding Avtrip points to participating pilots and providing Avfuel contract fuel for jet-A buyers.
Landmark Aviation has added another FBO to its network after purchasing the assets of DB Aviation at Waukegan Regional Airport in Waukegan, Ill. The purchase brings the Landmark chain to 41 FBOs. “DB Aviation will be a great addition to our network, and will expand our presence in the Midwest,” said Landmark president and CEO Dan Bucaro.
Hawker Beechcraft has reached a formal agreement with the state of Kansas that the Wichita OEM says provides a “significant” incentive for “the company to maintain its presence in Wichita over the next 10 years.” The state’s incentive package requires Hawker Beechcraft to maintain its current product lines in Wichita and retain at least 4,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
In a letter to Hawker Beechcraft employees on October 22, chairman and CEO Bill Boisture laid out plans for the Wichita OEM’s latest employee cuts, which will affect both salaried employees and management.
Comlux USA, a maintenance, overhaul, completion and refurbishment center in Indianapolis, was back at work on Monday following a fire a day earlier that damaged the roof and one corner of its maintenance hangar at Indianapolis International Airport. The extent of fire damage to the facility and to four business jets in Hangar 5 is still being assessed, Comlux Aviation Services division CEO David Edinger told AIN.
General aviation aircraft shipment data released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) starkly demonstrate the continued effects the sour economy has had on the OEMs over the past two years. In the first nine months, GA airplane shipments numbered 1,357 units, down 14.5 percent from 1,588 in the same nine months last year. Billings in the nine-month period slipped 2.5 percent from a year ago to $13.47 billion.
This morning, Columbus, Ohio-based NetJets announced it acquired jet card provider Marquis Jet Partners. Marquis Jet was started in 2001 by Kenny Dichter, offering 25-hour jet cards essentially equivalent to a 32nd share of a NetJets airplane. Jet card buyers purchase a “pre-paid sub-lease of a specific aircraft,” according to Marquis, which owns 65 airplanes in the NetJets fleet.
Despite a recommendation by the International Association of Machinists executive council to approve the contract offered by Hawker Beechcraft, 55 percent of members voted to reject the proposal last month. A strike vote was not authorized. The current contract remains in effect until it expires in August next year, and negotiations are not likely to reopen before then.