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Greenwich AeroGroup
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News


SUMMIT AVIATION PREPARES ARMY CHINOOK FOR CIVILIAN JOB

Summit Aviation recently helped a veteran of military aviation, a Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter, make a groundbreaking transition into a productive new role in civilian life, firefighting.

Starting late last year, the U.S. Army began auctioning the Chinooks for civilian use. The auctions are the first time military Chinooks are being sold for non-military operations, and Summit Aviation customer CHI Aviation has bought three of the 12 auctioned so far.

Summit, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, has more than two decades of experience working on the twin-engine Chinooks for Boeing and the Department of Defense. The Chinook that Summit prepared is entering CHI’s firefighting fleet, with service expected on an as-needed basis in the western United States.

“We’re pleased the Summit team can take all the experience we’ve gained from our military work to help prepare these Chinooks for a new and productive civilian life,” said Summit Aviation General Manager Ralph Kunz.

To return the helicopter to service for the Howell, Michigan-based CHI, Summit did a 400-hour phase inspection, conducted FAA flight control rig verification and an internal fuel cell inspection, painted the aircraft and rotor blades, and performed a post-maintenance test flight and rotor blade tracking and balancing. In addition, several TBO items were overhauled by Professional Aircraft Accessories in Titusville, Florida, another Greenwich AeroGroup company.

Chinooks have been military workhorses for five decades, hauling troops, supplies, artillery and other equipment. Their civilian heavy-lift roles will likely include firefighting, search and rescue, logging, offshore transport, heavy cargo and construction. That makes the helicopters a good match for heavy-lift specialist CHI, whose work includes clients in the construction, oil and gas, electric utility and forestry industries. CHI also performs search and rescue, firefighting and transport operations for businesses, government agencies and the Department of Defense.

The military is steadily replacing CH-47D models with newer Chinook CH-47F models. Some of the helicopters are being sold to overseas militaries, while parts are being collected from others for use on the CH-47F and other models. Summit recently “depopulated” its 200th CH-47D and expects to harvest parts from nearly 100 more Chinooks in the next few years.

Summit Aviation is proud of its work on the Chinooks, and sending one out for civilian duty is particularly satisfying. “These helicopters have served our nation well, and they’ll provide great service fighting fires and performing other heavy-lift operations,” Kunz said.

CHI firefighter2

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WESTERN AIRCRAFT RETOOLS MRO SALES TEAM

Western Aircraft, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, announced today a retooling of its MRO sales and service team, reflecting Western’s growth in facilities, services and customers.

Western Aircraft recently expanded its facility with 26,000 square feet of new space. And with the new investments in facilities and equipment, the company’s employment has increased from 150 to 200 employees.

As part of the retooling, sales managers will focus on specific aircraft including Falcon, Hawker, and Challenger which are substantial and growing parts of the company’s business.

“This is the strongest maintenance sales team in Western’s history, and these managers have extensive experience with specific aircraft,” said President of Western Aircraft Jeff Mihalic. “They have developed strong relationships with our customers and will be able to provide them even better service in their new positions.”

The new assignments and positions:

CJ Miller is moving from Falcon Service Manager to Regional Sales Manager, serving a territory that includes California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and parts of Canada. With 11 years as a Falcon technician and four years as Falcon Service Manager, Mr. Miller has a wealth of technical knowledge about the aircraft and has established relationships with many Falcon operators in the region.

Jody Harris is becoming Senior Service Manager, moving from his role as Production Manager and filling Mr. Miller’s position. Mr. Harris brings 15 years of business aviation experience into his new role leading the company’s largest team focusing on Falcon service. His background and expertise also serves him well in his role as mentor to other Service Managers.

Doug Alwine is moving from Sales Account Manager to the newly created position of Regional Sales Manager-Hawker-Challenger. Mr. Alwine has four years of experience in sales of Hawker/Challenger aircraft with Western.

Terry Mergan is now Sales Account Manager-Jets, moving over from Sales Account Manager-Turboprop. Mr. Mergan has spent two years as a Sales Manager after 15 years as a technician.

Veronika Palova has been named to the new position of Business Development Manager, responsible for reaching out to prospective customers and introducing them to Western Aircraft.

Tracy Gandy remains in his position as MRO Turboprop Sales Manager as well as Dale Lester and Lee Miles as MRO Sales Managers.

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SUMMIT AVIATION NAMES PARTS SALES REP

Summit Aviation, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, announced today the hiring of Christin Sherwood as an Over-the-Counter Parts Sales Representative.

Ms. Sherwood will be responsible for selling and coordinating sales of over the counter parts, working with both rotorcraft and fixed-wing customers at the Middletown facility.

Previously, Ms. Sherwood served as Director of Operations for Volo Direct, an aircraft parts supplier, where she worked with international airlines, flight departments, repair stations and private aircraft owners. She also served as Talent Acquisition with Aviation Personnel International, working with Fortune 100 Flight Department, FBOs and Charter Companies to place high level talent across the business aviation industry.

She was educated at the University of Buffalo-SUNY and Niagara County Community College and earned Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from the University of Delaware. During her career, Ms. Sherwood has had extensive dealings with Part 91, Part 135 and Part 145 operations.

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SUMMIT AVIATION HIRES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Summit Aviation, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, announced today the hiring of Jeremy Bennett as Manager of Business Development.

Mr. Bennett will be responsible for securing new business with theU.S. Army Program Executive Office Aviation, which directs the development, procurement and testing of Army helicopters. He will be based in Huntsville, Alabama, where the Army unit is located, and also will work with existing customers.

Previously, Mr. Bennett was Department Manager and Director of Flight Operations for Wyle, a subcontractor of flight test services for U.S. Army at Redstone Test Center in Huntsville. He is a helicopter pilot and a veteran of Army aviation, having served as Simulator Program Manager for UH-60 and UH-72 utility helicopters. Before that, he was a Manager and then Director of Aviation Maintenance for units in Germany and Honduras.

Mr. Bennett earned a bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration from Auburn University, with a focus on technology management.

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AERO PRECISION SHOWCASES NEW FACILITY

Aero Precision, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, welcomed guests for tours and held a ribbon cutting celebration today in honor of its brand new facility.

The recently renovated 43,844 square-foot distribution center is located just east of San Francisco and near the Livermore Municipal Airport.

“Our business is growing and this new space provides many benefits to help us better serve our customers, OEM partners, vendors and our employees,” said Aero Precision President Frank Cowle. “We are about providing key support for mission readiness, and this new spaces allows us to do that even more efficiently.”

The military aircraft parts distribution company has been located in the city of Livermore for more than ten years and employs over 100 full-time staff.

“I congratulate Aero Precision on the grand opening of its new facility in Livermore, located in the 15th Congressional District,” said Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-15). “Aero Precision is a great example of a business growing, succeeding, and creating jobs here in the East Bay.”

The new building also has double the square-footage of Aero Precision’s previous office space and abounds with several new Green energy technology features including workstations that are made from recycled materials, LED lighting throughout the facility, warehouse lighting motion sensors to turn off power in unoccupied activity zones, timed office light switches that deactivate office light zones in the evening, light diffusing curtains that reduce energy costs in high sun exposure offices, dedicated recycle bins for used electronics, batteries, computer and cell phone parts disposal, as well as paper recycling through the building.

The company’s warehouse capacity has also increased significantly nearly tripling from the company’s previous space. Cowle says the added space provides them with the ample room to strategically place inventory to minimize picking time and maximize efficiency.

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IDG EUROPE JOINS GREENWICH AEROGROUP DEALER NETWORK FOR LIVEAERO

IDG Europe has joined Greenwich AeroGroup’s dealer network for the installation and certification of LiveAero Broadband SATCOM systems.

IDG Europe AB, based in Sweden, is a turnkey Satcom solutions provider with more than 20 years of experience. It recently launched a new division of the company called idg.aero which provides global satellite communications for the whole aircraft, from safety communications to high-speed broadband and tracking services. IDG Europe will represent Greenwich AeroGroup’s LiveAero product in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

LiveAero, developed by LiveTV, LLC of Melbourne, Fla., is the only fixed wing and rotorcraft data broadband solution that works everywhere in the world, including remote, oceanic and polar regions, for passengers requiring smartphone, tablet or laptop connectivity. Based upon the Iridium OpenPortTM broadband technology, the system has Wi-Fi enabled, bi-directional data effective speed of up to 300 kbps through network built in optimization. The system also includes three separate voice lines for calls to be placed anywhere in the world. Connectivity is available in the air or on the ground.

Other current dealers for the product include Greenwich AeroGroup’s Summit Aviation in Middletown, Del.; and Western Aircraft in Boise, Idaho; Banyan Air Service in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Spirit Avionics in Columbus, Ohio; Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland, Dubai and Singapore; West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo., East Alton, Ill., Columbia, S.C.: Pro Star Aviation in Londonderry, N.H., and Aviation Partners Group with capabilities in Punta Gorda, Fla., Moscow, Russia and Kiev, Ukraine.

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PROFESSIONAL AVIATION ASSOCIATES INCREASES HOSE SHOP SIZE AND CAPABILITIES

Professional Aviation Associates, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, announced that its Parker Hannifin Stratoflex hose shop recently received recertification and has increased in size and capabilities.

Professional Aviation Associates is a global distributor and a certified FAA/TSO Parker Hannifin Stratoflex manufacturing hose shop. In early May, the company moved into a new 46,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Distribution Facility close to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport allowing the company to double the size of the hose shop from its previous size of 1000 square feet to 2000 square feet. After set up, the new shop was audited and recertified by Parker Hannifin Stratoflex ensuring no disruption of production.

“The additional space facilitates new fabrication equipment we have recently acquired and triples our production capacity,” said President of Professional Aviation Associates Brian Dannewitz. “We are adding new aircraft platforms to our support capabilities while ensuring the fastest turn times and competitive pricing to meet our customer’s needs.”

Dannewitz said the company whose manufacturing team has more than 30 years of Parker Hannifin Stratoflex hose building experience, now has the capability to fabricate hoses of up to 1 ½ inches in diameter. It also has added various machinery and tooling, including two Stratoflex T01-100 assembly machines, a Stratoflex T08-100 crimper and a Stratoflex T05-143 test stand.

Professional Aviation Associates can provide single hose or complete hose kits as well as custom-built assemblies for turboprop, fixed wing or rotorcraft.

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DAC INTERNATIONAL SECURES PMA AND STC/TC APPROVAL ON THREE SOFTWARE-INTENSIVE PRODUCTS

DAC International, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, announced today that it has received Parts Manufacturer Approval and Supplemental Type Certificate Approval on its Digital to Analog Converter and Airborne Data Link Processor, and Type Certificate approval of its ARINC-to-NMEA 183 converter.

The Digital to Analog Converter is approved to design assurance level A. This solid state product is the link between a system which provides pitch, roll, heading and other critical signals to existing aircraft equipment including pilot and copilot primary flight displays, the autopilot and other on-board systems; The Airborne Data Link Processor is approved to design assurance level C. This product gathers signals in a myriad of formats from existing aircraft systems then translates it all into a single format understood by aircraft’s existing transponder thereby providing it all the data necessary for Enhanced Mode-S and ADS-B operation in European airspace; and the third approval is for the ARINC-to-NMEA 183 Converter which is approved to design assurance level D. This product delivers GPS location information to the aircraft’s Emergency Locator Transmitter. With the combination of this ECD product and the latest ELT technology, operators and passengers will have the assurance that, when needed, the ELT will perform at peak accuracy.

“Our Engineering and Certification division has been working in partnership with multiple Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) groups to accomplish these certifications,” said General Manager of DAC International Cisco Hernandez. “These products are a testament of our commitment to provide forward thinking and innovative technology solutions to our customers.”

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WESTERN AIRCRAFT’S CHARTER COMPANY TO ROLL OUT PRICE PLEDGE GUARANTEE

WestAir Charter, a division of Western Aircraft, announced today it is rolling out a new “Price Pledge” guarantee for all its charter quotes.

WestAir’s Charter “Price Pledge” states it will never bill clients for more than they were originally quoted. The only exceptions, clearly stated in the contract, are for itinerary changes and impromptu overnights. 

“This means there is no guesswork for our clients,” said Director of Flight Operations for WestAir Charter Jeff Matlock. “We believe in providing industry-leading quality service and our philosophy has always been that the relationship we have with our clients is based on trust. We feel this program is a good way to distinguish that viewpoint.”

WestAir Charter operates a fleet of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, primarily serving the Western U.S., Canada and Mexico.

WestAir Charter will roll out the new program August 1, 2014.

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WESTERN AIRCRAFT OPENS DOORS TO TWO NEW BUILDINGS

Western Aircraft, a Greenwich AeroGroup company,welcomed guests and held a ribbon cutting celebration today in honor of its most recent expansion.

The company added two new buildings totaling 26,000 square feet to its 18-acre leasehold. The new construction includes an expanded parts facility as well as a two-story infill building that houses support shops for Western Aircraft’s services operation.

“This day has been made possible through the collaboration of the public and private sector as well as the support of our parent company Greenwich AeroGroup,” said President of Western Aircraft Jeff Mihalic. “We started this journey nearly four years ago with tremendous support from the City of Boise and the State of Idaho and today we thank all our partners for their efforts and contribution to our vision.”

“Western Aircraft is an important partner to the Boise Airport and a growing part of Boise’s resurgent economy,” said City of Boise Mayor David Bieter. “Western Aircraft has seen amazing success in recent years, and with that success has come a need for better facilities. I’m thrilled that the City of Boise and the Boise Airport are in a position to assist that expansion and help create more jobs and more opportunity here in the City of Trees.”

Mihalic added that Western’s business expansion was driven in large part by the sales tax exemption on installed parts passed by the Idaho legislature in 2012 and the growth of Western’s capabilities and sales force.

“Ninety-five percent of our customers are based outside of the state of Idaho. We’re now capturing customers from as far south as San Antonio, Texas and as far east as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”

The overall expansion includes more than $2.3 million in new facilities and more than $2.4 million in facility improvements and specialized tooling. Additionally, due to the added business, Western Aircraft has increased staffing from 150 to 200 employees.

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