Curt Epstein AIN
People in Aviation
December 2, 2012
  • Share
  • By: Curt Epstein

    Markus Bucher, previously COO of Pilatus Aircraft, has been named CEO and chairman of the Swiss airframer’s executive board, effective January 1. He succeeds Oscar Schwenk, who will remain chairman of the board of directors.

    Fractional aircraft provider Flexjet has named Deanna White as president. Previously she was Bombardier subsidiary’s v-p of finance and administration.

    Canadian private aviation services provider Partner Jet has promoted James Morrison from managing director to CEO. He replaces Ian McDougall, who has retired.

    Craig Spence, v-p of operations and international affairs with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), has been named permanent secretary general of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA).

    Gulfstream has promoted Mike West from director of product support programs to v-p of product support sales and new business development. The Savannah, Ga.-based airframer also named Sherman Collins as a San Francisco-based field service representative. Most recently, he was director of aircraft maintenance for a Dallas air transportation company.

    Jim Coon, currently chief of staff for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, will join the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) as executive v-p in January. The association also promoted Amy Koranda to v-p. She will retain her position as head of NATA’s Safety 1st program.

    Air medical provider Med-Trans has promoted Rob Hamilton from senior vice president of business development to COO.

    Chris McDowell has joined Canadian rotorcraft MRO provider Vector Aerospace’s North American helicopter services team as v-p of sales and marketing. Previously he was v-p of sales and business development for Heli-One.

    Former Yankee Pacific Aerospace (YPA) vice president of business development Rick Richardson has been named president of the newly formed Tulsa, Okla.-based manufacturing and MRO provider R2 Aerospace. He will remain a consultant with YPA.

    Aircraft finance provider CIT Aerospace has made several changes to its executive staff. Markus Weinseiss, managing director of CIT Aerospace International, was also appointed managing director and head of planning and strategy, while Jennifer Villa-Tennity was promoted from director of credit risk/risk management for the Americas to chief credit officer. Martyn Lewis, the company’s v-p of marketing, was also named senior regional director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    Chris Jaran, previously COO of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, has been named Bell Helicopter’s managing director in China. The Textron subsidiary also promoted two new U.S. regional sales managers. Ryan Denton, formerly the manufacturer’s commercial sales representative to Europe and Russia, will manage commercial helicopter sales for the North Central region, while Will Fulton, previously Bell’s commercial product marketing manager, will handle the Pacific Northwest region.

    Former Cessna CEO Jack Pelton has joined the board of directors for Redbird Flight Simulations.

    David Powell, most recently Sikorsky Aircraft’s v-p of sales for the Americas, has joined FlightSafety International as executive director of helicopter business development.

    Communication and flight following system provider Latitude Technologies has appointed Brad Head as its new v-p of technology. Previously he worked as an enterprise architect for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation.

    Jetsolution International Services has hired Keng Kum Yong, previously v-p technical for Asia at SGI Aviation, as v-p and technical specialist at its new Singapore office.

    MRO provider West Star Aviation has announced that Scott McDonald will join the company as director of sales. Most recently he held the same position with Gulfstream Product Support.

    Michael Grana has joined Banyan Air Service as aircraft sales associate. Previously he was a pilot/aircraft sales associate with Eagle Creek Aviation. The Florida-based FBO also tapped George Tucker, previously with the Envisia Group, as director of its pilot shop.

    Rotorcraft operator and services provider Metro Aviation has appointed Amy McMullen its customer configuration coordinator and named Terry Palmer its new director of training

    Boeing Business Jet completions specialist Greenpoint Technologies has promoted Mark Keilholz to senior director of information technology.

    John Petersen, founder and CEO of the Arlington Institute, has been elected chairman of The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He succeeds Larry Williams, who has completed his three-year term.

    Duncan Aviation has named Richard Gardner its international representative in New Zealand as regional manager for Australia and New Zealand. The Lincoln, Neb.-based aviation services provider also appointed avionics installation sales representative Andy Fernandes as its regional manager for India.

    Odyssey Aviation has named Shervin Penn, most recently hotel duty manager at the British Colonial Hilton, to the position of station manager at its new Exuma FBO.

    Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based CRS Jet Spares has named Randy Shelton, most recently a regional sales manager with Comlux, as its North Central U.S. regional sales manager.

    Flight crew staffing specialist Corporate Aviators has named former tradeshow industry executive Jim Hanchrow as sales and marketing manager of contingent aviation labor at its Bethel, Conn. headquarters.

    Jim Panknin, most recently president of Executive Flight Support, has been named chief pilot for San Diego-based charter provider Schubach Aviation.

    Aviation services provider JFI Jets has named Jeff Filkins, previously West Coast sales manager for Honeywell Flight Support Services, as a regional sales manager for aircraft maintenance and management.

    Aviation communication veterans Dave Franson, Cassandra Bosco, Bob Searles and Steve Lowe have launched Conventional Wisdom, an effort aimed at helping smaller aviation companies improve their tradeshow visibility, return on investment and performance.

    New York-based aviation services provider FirstFlight has named Kayla Force as marketing coordinator.


    Air medical services provider Northwest MedStar has been named the 2012 Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) for exemplifying the best of the air-medical and critical-care transport programs internationally. Stephen Thompson, a communication specialist with the company, also received the 2012 Communicator of the Year award from the National Association of Air Medical Communication Specialists.

    Jim Glasner, a helicopter pilot and instructor with Wichita-based EagleMed, was selected as the National EMS Pilots Association (NEMSPA) pilot of the year. He began his career as an Army helicopter pilot in 1970 and has been an EMS helicopter pilot since 1979. Since then he has flown nearly 5,000 patients and mentored nearly 300 pilots, while earning a reputation for his unwavering commitment to safety in air medical transport operations.

    Pilatus Business Aircraft honored delivery pilot Roger Engel at the conclusion of his 200th and final ferry flight of a PC-12 from the company’s factory in Switzerland to its completions center for the Americas in Colorado. The trip involves 22 hours of flying time, with stops in Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Nunavit and Ontario before reaching the final destination outside Denver. Engel, who retired after the flight, left the position with a perfect record.


    Monte Mitchell, 83, the former president of the Aircraft Electronics Association, died October 16 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He led the organization for nearly 20 years, during which time he tripled its membership, introduced new programs and greatly expanded the group’s monthly Avionics News publication. He was a key driver in the passage of the landmark General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994, which reduced the liability faced by aviation manufacturers and spurred new product research and development in the industry. “Monte devoted more than forty years of his life to aviation, and was a true pioneer in advancing and revitalizing thegeneral aviation industry,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “GARA was revolutionary and without Monte Mitchell’s hard work and perseverance, it would not have been possible.”

    Col. Herbert Carter, 95, an original member of the 99th Fighter Squadron of Tuskegee Airmen fame, died November 8 in Opelika, Ala. He flew combat missions during the North African, Sicilian, Italian and European campaigns of World War II, and following his wartime service worked as a professor of air science and commander of the Air Force ROTC at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) from 1950 to 1955 and professor of aerospace studies from 1965 to 1969. After his retirement from the USAF, he served at Tuskegee as assistant dean for student services and associate dean for admissions and recruiting.

    During his career he received numerous honors, including the Air Medal, four Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation, European Theater Medal, five Bronze Stars, National Defense Medal, one Bronze Star and the Air Force Longevity Award, five Oak Leaf Clusters. In 2004 French President Jacques Chirac awarded him the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian award, for “outstanding service rendered France during the Second World War.”