In the U.S. the FAA bestows its Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” award on people who have spent more than 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession. Canada doesn’t seem to offer the same level of recognition for such achievements, but if it did, the name of Leslie Pingel would be high on the list. Pingel, 89, has spent 64 years in aircraft maintenance positions and is still working for Tag Aeronautics as director of technical support.
Bombardier Global Express
Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) opened a new line maintenance station at Riga International Airport in partnership with Latvian partner Baltic Business Aviation Center and its FBO Riga subsidiary. The facility, which has been approved to EASA Part 145 standards, offers support for Bombardier business jets, including the Learjet 40, 45 and 60, the Challenger 601, 604 and 605, and the Global 5000 and Global Express XRS.
George Tsopeis, Zenith Jet’s vice president of aviation services and a former member of Bombardier’s business aircraft strategy and business development team, expects Bombardier to unveil a new ultra-long-range aircraft later this month at the NBAA Convention in Atlanta.
Bombardier business jet operators now have more options in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) has opened a line maintenance station in Riga, Latvia. The operation recently completed the required audit by the German Airworthiness Authority, acting on behalf of the EASA, and the facility is now open.
Midcoast Aviation is absorbing the operations of sister company Savannah Air Center to “consolidate our talents into a single center of excellence,” according to Midcoast president Donald Petersen.
Solairus Aviation has added six large-cabin jets to its managed charter aircraft portfolio, including a Gulfstream G550 and Bombardier Challenger 601-3R. The company’s Part 91 management division has also swelled by approximately 20 percent, with the additions of a Dassault Falcon 900, a Bombardier Global Express, Challenger 601 and 605, all based in the San Francisco Bay Area or the Northwest.
Business jet charter, sales and acquisition firm Zenith Jet has released a “bottom-up segment dynamics” forecast that predicts 10,940 bizjets worth some $208 billion will be delivered this decade.
Executive charter operator VistaJet has ordered six more Bombardier aircraft for its planned expansion into markets in West Africa, the Middle East and Russia. The deal announced in Farnborough includes four Global Express XRS and two Challenger 605 jets that are due for delivery in 2011 and 2012. The additional aircraft will expand VistaJet’s fleet to more than 30 airplanes.
Following the bankruptcy of ExelTech Aerospace, Bombardier is purchasing the company’s Saint-Laurent facilities. The acquisition will increase Bombardier’s Global completion center capabilities for its Global 5000 and Global Express XRS. “We have had plans to expand our completions capacity in Montreal and this situation presented a good opportunity to do it.
In mid-April, Midcoast Aviation senior v-p of green completions Rodger Renaud described business at the East Cahokia, Ill.-based maintenance and operations facility as “certainly better now than [at] this time last year.” Slightly more than a month later, on May 26, the company announced the layoff of 80 employees.