Pro Pilot PRASE tally event

Sikorsky Aircraft Pres Jeff Pino with the X2 at Heli-Expo 2011.

Headliners for this year's PRASE event, being held in Alexandria VA on Apr 7 and 8, will be Sikorsky Aircraft Pres Jeff Pino and Honeywell Aerospace Dir Media Relations Bill Reavis.

Pro Pilot is recognizing Sikorsky as Aviation Innovator of the Year 2010 for the design, development and flight test of the record-setting X2 compound coaxial rotor helicopter. Bill Reavis is being recognized as Communications Manager of the Year 2010 for his more than 20 years of contributions to aerospace news and information.


Charles Celli has been named vp of Gulfstream's SAV service center operations, responsible for day-to-day operations at the 680,000 sq ft facility. Most recently, Celli worked for Jet Aviation BSL (Basel, Switzerland) as general manager and senior vp completions services, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia. Before taking the Jet Aviation position in Apr 2009, Celli was vp and general manager of Gulfstream's DAL facility.

Justin Merkling has been named manager of Duncan Aviation's engine service shop at BTL (Battle Creek MI). Merkling joined Duncan Aviation in 1999 as an aircraft technician and moved into the Citation Tech Rep role in 2007, serving on NBAA's Citation 500-series tech committee.

Jim Hirsch (R) has been named president of Air Tractor following the Feb 20 death of Founder & Pres Leland Snow. Hirsch has been at Air Tractor for 19 years, most recently serving as vp engineering. The remainder of the Air Tractor management team remains in place. Last year Air Tractor produced 123 aircraft, more than 50% of them for export.

Rich Gross has been hired as Metro Aviation's assistant director of operations. Previously, he held positions as senior director of sales for American Eurocopter and operations director for STAT MedEvac.

Jet Source has announced the promotion of Jay Brentzel to the office of president. He will continue as director of operations for the company. As president, Brentzel is now responsible for the overall strategic planning, fiscal management, business development and day-to-day activities at Jet Source.

Steve Wright has been appointed vp of Blackcomb Aviation. A pilot and former owner of a Vancouver BC-based helicopter company, Wright will oversee business development, marketing, film coordination and executive travel for the firm. He is a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Last flight

Aviation Writer Justin "Jack" Cox died on Mar 6, 2011. He was 77. Cox, a native of Asheboro NC, is survived by Golda, his wife of 52 years. Both worked for the Experimental Aircraft Assn (EAA) until retiring and returning to Asheboro in 1999. Cox wrote for EAA's Sport Aviation magazine and, in 1981, Jack and Golda Cox began publishing Sportsman Pilot, a quarterly aviation magazine, which continued until his death. Cox received his pilot's license in 1963 and over the years he and Golda owned and flew 8 different aircraft. During his aviation writing career, Cox was the recipient of many awards, including induction into the EAA Vintage Aircraft Assn Hall of Fame and the EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame. He received an Aviation/Space Writers Association award for his article on the around-the-world flight of the Voyager in 1986. Cox was a member of AOPA, a lifetime member of EAA and director of EAA/NAA Chapter 3, and a member of the Ashe­boro Airport Authority.


May 17–19: 11th Annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), Geneva, Switzerland. NBAA, 202-783-9000 or visit

Jun 8: NBAA Regional Forum, White Plains NJ. NBAA, 202-783-9000 or visit

Jul 6–7: CBAA (Canadian Business Aviation Assn) annual meeting, Calgary AB, Canada. CBAA, 613-236-5611 ext 225 or visit www.

Jul 20–23: ALEA (Airborne Law Enforcement Assn) annual meeting, Tucson AZ. ALEA, 301-631-2406 or visit www.


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