FLIGHT DEPT PROFILE PROFILE
ProCaps vitamin company generates TWC Aviation
Success in marketing health supplements feeds corporate flight dept along with TWC charter and aircraft mgmt, sales and acquisitions.
(L–R) Chief Pilot Jack Mulder with Captains Josh Petty, Terry Santiago and Michael Dickhaut and TWC Aviation's Gulfstream G550 at VNY. TWC operates a primarily "heavy iron" intercontinental fleet.
Maintenance and scheduling
TWC Aviation's primary maintenance base is at VNY—an FAA licensed repair station. Dir Maintenance Greg Paxson, who joined TWC on a contract basis back in 1997, has a staff of 11 mechanics including 1 avionics technician. The crew handles all line checks in house but tends to contract out larger inspections and install projects due to turn time issues.
Current TWC projects include installing wireless Internet aboard 2 Hawker 800s and a Falcon 2000LX—with 3 weeks downtime—and transitioning to Apple iPad displays for electronic charts fleetwide. Full-time mechanics are also stationed at SJC, HPN and with remotely based aircraft both stateside and overseas.
Dir Aviation Safety & Security Kristopher Cannon runs flightdeck defense training as well as crewmember survival tactics.
Asst Dir Operations Cherie Hecker is in charge of TWC Aviation scheduling and dispatch out of VNY and works with a team of 7 schedulers. Universal Weather & Aviation is used for international trip support and Computing Technologies for Aviation (CTS) FOS scheduling software is deployed for all scheduling and reporting functionality.
Hecker works with multiple fuel cards and contract fuel vendors—including UVair, Colt Intl and World Fuel Services—to negotiate best fuel uplift prices worldwide.
To minimize costs the TWC scheduling department is aggressive in working on hotel discounts and haggling with FBOs to reduce ramp fees. Meanwhile, ACM Aviation has 4 schedulers based at SJC and 3 at HPN. "We're planning to integrate the TWC and ACM scheduling functions this year," says Hecker. "This should give us even more efficient scheduling capabilities."
(L–R) Dir Maintenance Greg Paxson, Maintenance Admin Asst Patti Kruszewski, A&P Tech Byron Pacheco, Shop Asst/Aircraft Detailer Honorato Salazar, Avionics Tech Javier Cervantes, A&P Allan Ju, A&P Tech Mike Passalacqua, Asst Dir Maintenance Rich Boyadjian, Parts Mgr Steve Gonzales and Chief Inspector Curtis Nordby.
TWC envisions growing opportunities in charter and aircraft management, sales and acquisitions as the industry emerges from current global economic challenges.
Richmond says, "Our plan is to grow the company without sacrificing safety, or our level of service, and by focusing on individualized customer solutions. We continue to look at aircraft operating base opportunities outside the US as this is where much of the future growth will take place."
Asst Dir Ops Cherie Hecker oversees the scheduling and dispatch functions for TWC Aviation.
The TWC environment is a place where pilots can let their personalities shine says Chief Pilot Jack Mulder. "We have a work environment where everyone can be themselves and not have to mold themselves to a particular corporate image. Training and development opportunities are ongoing but these requirements are not onerous. Looking to the future, we envision many new opportunities for our pilot group."
As for Andrew Lessman and the ProCaps corporate fleet, the mix will continue to evolve with retention of the G550 and Falcon 2000LX but likely replacement of the 2 Citation Xs. "We tend to cycle our aircraft out every 5 years or so and are always evaluating new equipment opportunities," says Richmond.
Editor-at-Large Grant McLaren has written for Pro Pilot for over 20 years and specializes in corporate flight department coverage.