Wichita Aero Club's Feb 22 luncheon honored Alex Kvassay, former Learjet and Beech salesman and regular Pro Pilot contributor. Highlight of the event, which was held at the Double­tree by Hilton at ICT (Mid-Continent, Wichita KS), was a presentation chaired by Sullivan Higdon & Sink Co-Founder Al Higdon (L) in which his good friend Kvassay recalled some of his many exploits.

Bombardier, Piper and Diamond have all reported increased sales recently. Bombardier reports that its backlog increased to $22 billion with 249 net orders for the 11 months ending Dec 31, 2011, compared with 201 for the 12 months ending Jan 31, 2011. Piper Aircraft ended 2011 with increased revenue from new aircraft sales of $131.2 million—up more than 9% from $120.2 million a year ago. The increase was fueled primarily by PA46 Meridian deliveries (32 in 2011 vs 25 in 2010). Meanwhile, Diamond Aircraft registered a 33% improvement with 185 units delivered in 2011 vs 139 delivered in 2010.

Embraer announced in mid-February that it has signed an agreement for 3 Lineage 1000 ultralarge executive jets with China's Minsheng Financial Leasing Co—one of the largest financial institutions providing executive jet leasing services in China. The company also announced on Feb 16 that it had recently delivered the 300th Phenom jet, capping off a series of milestones which includes the assembly, first flight and delivery of the initial Phenom 100 from the company's MLB (Melbourne FL) facility.

Indigo Lyon, an international aircraft sales and services company headed by Peter Smales, has been appointed as a sales representative for the Aerion supersonic business jet (SSBJ). UK-based Indigo Lyon will be responsible for marketing and promoting what Aerion says will be the world's first SSBJ and for securing fresh introductory order commitments worldwide (with the exception of the Americas). Indigo Lyon joins ExecuJet Aviation Group, headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, as an international sales representative, and Florida-based Aero Toy Store, Aerion's exclusive representative in the Americas.

Bombardier and Learjet announced on Feb 29 the entry into service of the 400th Learjet 60. The aircraft—a 60XR—was delivered to Cinépolis, a corporation based in Morelia, Mexico, during a special ceremony on Feb 28.


Universal Avionics has received registration to aerospace standard ISO-9001:2008/AS9100C. AS9100C standardizes the quality management system requirements for aviation, space and defense organizations.

MRO Services

Million Air Dallas at ADS (Addison TX) has received FAA's Diamond Award for Excellence for the 4th year in a row. The award signifies the facility's "ongoing commitment to aircraft maintenance training and safety excellence."

Flightstar Corp has been named a factory authorized line maintenance facility for Bombardier Learjet 40s and 45s. Flightstar is based at CMI (Champaign IL).

Gulfstream has established a joint venture with Beijing Capital Airlines (Deer Jet) and Grand China Aviation Technik (GCAT) to operate a business jet service center at PEK (Beijing, China). Deer Jet is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines Group and China's largest bizjet charter provider. Its fleet includes 26 Gulfstream aircraft. GCAT, another Hainan subsidiary, offers aircraft repair, maintenance and overhaul services. The new venture will operate under the name Gulfstream Beijing.


Aerion Corp announced on Mar 6 that Doug Nichols is now serving as COO. He is responsible for the company's operating, financial, business development and marketing activities. Nichols was formerly Aerion's CFO.

Bob Reding has joined FlightSafety Intl as senior advisor to the CEO. He was most recently exec vp ops for AMR Corp.

Sam Hill, former Embraer US president and recent HondaJet senior vp sales and marketing, has joined the strategic advisory council for Bye Aerospace.

JetFlite Intl (JFI) at LGB (Long Beach CA) has promoted Damon Danneker to director of operations. He joined JFI in 2008 as director of training and was most recently chief pilot.

NATA President Jim Coyne is stepping down effective Jan 1, 2013. Coyne has been the association's president since 1994.





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