Raisbeck donates $4m to Aviation High School

Raisbeck Engineering CEO James Raisbeck (arrow), his wife Sherry and their foundation have pledged $4 million to create what will become the Raisbeck Aviation High School. The donation will allow the existing Aviation High School to relocate to expanded facilities alongside the Museum of Flight at BFI (Boeing Field, Seattle WA). When the facility opens in Jan 2012 it is expected to accommodate a student population of between 400 and 600. As Raisbeck notes, “Our industry is starving for kids who have chosen this type of discipline in life. By con­centrating on areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Aviation High School is accomplishing what others can only dream of.” Says Museum of Flight Pres & CEO Bonnie Dunbar, “Education is central to the vision and mission of the museum. Our mission is well aligned with that of Aviation High School—to help address a state and national crisis in STEM education.”

Cessna will deliver 2 Citation Sovereigns certified for medical evacuation to Smart Aviation of Cairo, Egypt later this year. Equipped with a dual-patient system from LifePort, these are the first 2 of a 6-aircraft order from Smart, which is a charter company with operations throughout the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The medevac mission complements Smart’s regular VIP charter service.

Embraer has delivered an executive-configured Legacy 600 to Dubai, UAE-based Titan Aviation, which will manage and operate the aircraft for exclusive private use by its owner. Titan has another Legacy 600 in its fleet and is scheduled to incorporate a Lineage 1000 in 2012.

Gulfstream has received type certificate validation from Transport Canada for the GV, G350, G450, G500 and G550. They join 7 other Gulf­stream models already validated for Canadian certification—the Gulf­stream II/IIB, III, IV, G100, G150 and G200. The additional validations mean that operators can now register any in-production Gulfstream aircraft in Canada.


FAA has turned on the new Enroute Automation Modernization (ERAM) air traffic organization operation system at the Salt Lake City center. ERAM is the replacement for the obsolescent Host computer system used to control traffic at all 20 enroute centers. After thorough testing at Salt Lake and Seattle centers, the system will be declared operational there, and over the following 18 months will be switched on at the other 18 centers. ERAM is a $2-billion Lockheed Martin effort. Although conceived prior to NextGen, it is the key software platform on which key NextGen tools such as ADS-B and controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) will rest. Unlike Host, ERAM has an open architecture, which will make it easier to add to and upgrade.

Service & Repairs

Gulfstream has assigned 8 dedicated technicians to its 24/7 Airborne Product Support program. The technicians, who have extensive training in Gulfstream avionics and mechanical systems, will travel aboard the program’s dedicated G100 with flight-essential parts to airports within North America, Central America and the Caribbean in support of Gulfstream aircraft under warranty. Airborne Product Support also employs 4 dedicated flightcrews and a full-time manager. In instances where an operator’s aircraft is located outside the G100’s range of service, Gulfstream flies the necessary parts and technicians to an airline hub, where they can reach the customer’s aircraft via commercial flights.

Embraer has selected Starlink Aviation as its first authorized Canadian service center for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300. Starlink is headquartered at YUL (Trudeau, Montreal QC, Canada) and provides aircraft maintenance and FBO services as well as aircraft management and charter operations.

Aero Instruments, a division of REB Technologies, has been approved as a Part 145 repair station with authorization for avionics inspection and repair. The new capability was added to the existing repair station status, which includes FAA Class I through IV unlimited instrumentation as well as EASA approval. The company can also repair and overhaul flight directors, gyro assemblies and altimeters. Aero Instruments also provides REB Technologies with R&D capability for new night vision technologies and equipment improvement.


Rolls-Royce has received type certification for the BR725 engine which will power the soon-to-fly Gulfstream G650. EASA type certification is for a thrust rating of 16,100 lbs. Since first run in Apr 2008, the BR725 has completed all major development testing as well as accumulating almost 1100 running hours and 3500 engine cycles. Fan blade containment testing was performed in a new indoor test bed at the company’s facilities in Derby, England. Testing was undertaken at various Rolls-Royce locations in Europe and the US.


Martha King recently provided testimony to congressional lawmakers during a hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection. King testified that if TSA overlays the security requirements for commercial airlines onto general aviation and business aircraft, thousands of small and midsize businesses would be stifled with no tangible security benefit.

Last Flight

Margaret “Peggy” LoPresti, the widow of late aviation pioneer Roy LoPresti, passed away on Jul 17 in Vero Beach FL at the age of 79. Born in Jersey City NJ, LoPresti had called Vero Beach home for 21 years. After the death of her husband in 2008, LoPresti became chairman of the board of LoPresti Speed Merchants and LoPresti Aviation of Vero Beach and Sebastian. She is survived by her daughter, Amy Walsh of Allen TX, sons Curt, Jim, Roy and David, all of Vero Beach, and 11 grandchildren.


Becker Avionics, the US subsidiary of Becker Flugfunk, has appointed Markus Schmitz as its new president and general manager. Most recently vp of strategy and business development for Becker, Schmitz assumed his new responsibilities in May 2009 and now oversees the company’s entire US operation.

M7 Aerospace has named Ronald Colunga vp of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), with responsibility for the operation and financial performance of the company’s MRO business segment. Colunga will oversee daily operation of M7’s Part 145 repair station, as well as developing strategic plans and securing new business.

Rishworth Aviation has appointed Craig Sinclair as its new director. He has 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry, having held senior roles in Airways Corp of New Zealand and with Air New Zealand, where he was group general manager. During his tenure at Air New Zealand Sinclair’s responsibilities included flying operations, aircraft engineering and maintenance, cargo and airport ground handling. At Airways Corp of New Zealand Sinclair was CEO and led the development of the first satellite-based air navigation system and the business’s international growth.

Business & Commercial Aviation (B/CA) Executive Editor Jessica Salerno has completed 30 consecutive years of working for the magazine. A New Yorker, she joined B/CA in 1969 as a junior secretary, working for then-Editor-in-Chief Jim Holahan. Within 2 years he had promoted her to production editor, but in the early 1970s Salerno departed New York and B/CA to pursue other opportunities. She returned to New York in 1979 and B/CA Editor-in-Chief Jack Olcott rehired her as a research editor. Her assignments included calculating aircraft performance for B/CA’s annual Planning & Purchase Handbook. By 1983 she had been appointed managing editor—a position she held until promoted to her current position.


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