Paul Dolan to Become ATS CEO in June

Aviation Technical Services (ATS) has announced to its employees and close customers details surrounding the completion of their CEO succession plan. Effective June 11, Matt Yerbic will transition from the position of ATS CEO to be Executive Chairman of the ATS Board of Directors, promoting Paul Dolan as the next ATS CEO. Both will continue to be based out of ATS’s headquarters office in Everett, WA.

Yerbic has held the position of ATS CEO for nearly 14 years and plans to remain active in larger, strategic decisions as they emerge. Dolan, previously ATS President and COO, has been a critical part of ATS’s leadership team for more than five years. “I am honored to have served in leadership and been part of an ownership team at such an amazing company,” said Yerbic. “I am also thankful to our employees and customers for all they have done to support ATS. We are fortunate to have a talented and humble leader like Paul taking the CEO role.”

Prior to ATS, Dolan served for nine years in the U.S. Navy as an F/A-18 Strike Fighter Pilot and then went on to hold executive leadership positions at Chromalloy. He has an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, an MS in Aeronautical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a BS with distinction in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Over the last decade, Yerbic has overseen the transformation of ATS from a one-site, stand-alone airframe heavy maintenance business based at Paine Field in Everett, WA, to one of the world’s largest independent maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses, with facilities in Everett and Moses Lake, WA; Kansas City, MO; and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. The business, which now has a worldwide customer base, has expanded services to include highly-engineered product solutions like PMA and STC, aircraft teardown and USM part distribution, and a network of component repair businesses.

During the past 16 months, Yerbic and Dolan, alongside the entire ATS leadership team have been focused on surviving the historic impact COVID-19 has had on the aviation industry. But with an eye on certain recovery, they have also invested in employee training, installed comprehensive software systems, and are nearing completion of a facility consolidation plan in the DFW area with a component repair center of excellence location opening in July of 2021.

Duncan Aviation Added Nine To Its AOG Rapid Response Teams Since January

More business aircraft operators seek to save time and expense by having smaller scheduled inspections or maintenance events in their hangars. In support of this trend, Duncan Aviation added nine airframe and engine technicians to its AOG RRTs (Rapid Response Teams) during the first quarter of 2021.

“Our customers are returning to the skies upending the pandemic. We are coming alongside them in support of their daily needs and to overcome obstacles they face regarding 100% aircraft readiness,” says Andrew Arcuri, East Coast RRT Assistant Manager.  

While Duncan Aviation says their RRTs’ central mission remains to respond to all AOG events across the United States and around the world, Arcuri says the team also provides the daily support at customers’ home locations. “We are on the front line and have become valued members of our customers’ maintenance crews.”

There are 18 RRT dispatch locations across the U.S., including all three Duncan Aviation MROs in Battle Creek, MI, Lincoln, NE, and Provo, UT. They are the largest independent road team in the industry, offering mobile airframe and engine AOG and inspection services.

The company says they expect to add another 11 technicians before the end of the year. Skilled A&P technicians are needed in the Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Utah regions. 

The New AOG Rapid Response Technicians Include:

Josh Bronson joined Duncan Aviation in 2011 as an airframe technician working on Citations, Embraer, and Hawker aircraft. After transferring to the MRO RRT in late 2020, he has traveled across the U.S. supporting many airframe AOG events. 

Tylor Burkett joins Duncan Aviation’s northeast RRT. He has airframe and engine maintenance experience on Falcon, Challenger, and Global airframes. Before joining Duncan Aviation, he worked for Dassault Falcon Jet.

Justin Burnett comes to Duncan Aviation with 12 years of Honeywell AS907, TFE731, and APU technical and leadership experience. He worked for Turbine Engine Specialists, Inc., Texas Aviation Services, and ERA Helicopters, LLC before joining Duncan Aviation. He joins the Dallas RRT.

Dillard Knight joined Duncan Aviation in 2019, beginning on the engine line working on several platforms, including Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, and GE. He transferred to the MRO RRT located in Lincoln, NE, in January of 2021 and immediately hit the road supporting AOG events from California to Connecticut. 

James Kramer has over 20 years of aviation experience as an A&P, pilot, field support, and inspector for Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, and GE engine platforms.  He is joining the AOG RRT in Scottsdale, AZ.

Matt Olson has 16 years of airframe, electrical, engine line, and troubleshooting experience on Falcon, Citation, Embraer, Challenger, and Global aircraft; and Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls Royce engine platforms. He joined Duncan Aviation in 2005 as an airframe technician at the company’s Lincoln, NE, facility. In 2020, he transferred to the MRO RRT in Provo, Utah.

Josiah Orme has joined the Duncan Aviation RRT in the northeast region. He has several years of airframe and engine experience. Before joining Duncan Aviation, he worked for Dassault Falcon Jet as a maintenance technician and quality control inspector.

Josh Saran’s aviation experience started in the U.S. Air Force working on Sikorsky MH-53 helicopters. He has 10 years of airframe, avionics, and engine troubleshooting experience on the most popular business aircraft in flight today, including Bombardier, Textron, Falcon, Gulfstream, and Embraer airframes. He has joined the Seattle RRT.

In the years since Rafael Vargas earned his A&P in 1993, he has been hands-on as an aircraft maintenance technician, inspector, and crew lead on Gulfstream, Global, Citation, and Falcon aircraft. His engine inspection, overhaul, and troubleshooting experience include Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Williams International, and Rolls Royce. Before joining Duncan Aviation, Vargas worked for Gulfstream, StandardAero, and Cessna Citation. He has joined the Long Beach, CA, RRT.

Show in the photo above are (left to right) Tylor Burkett, James Kramer, Josiah Orme, and Justin Burnett.

Lufthansa Tehnik Supervisory Board Extends Executive Board Mandate of Soeren Stark

At its meeting on April 22nd, the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa 
Technik early appointed Soeren Stark as chief operations officer 
(COO) and accountable manager of Lufthansa Technik for further five 
years until 31 December, 2026. 

Stark has been member of the Executive Board since January 
2019. He is responsible for Technical Operations, Logistics and IT.  
As the “accountable manager” within the meaning of EASA Part 145, 
Stark is the point of contact for the aviation authorities on 
all matters relating to the maintenance and manufacturing operations 
of Lufthansa Technik. 

Stark has held various positions within Lufthansa Group since 
2001. From 2016 until 2018, he was responsible for Operations at 
Lufthansa Cargo as member of the Executive Board. 

Bhalla Named Director of the Board at Next Level Aviation

Senior finance executive Rajeev Bhalla has been named a director of the Board at Next Level Aviation, a leader in the aerospace used serviceable materials (USM) market. He brings wide-ranging financial, operational, and strategic expertise to the company as it plans substantial growth in the coming years, both organically and through acquisition.

Bhalla’s background includes demonstrated discipline and expertise in finance, governance, and team development. This comes through current work as a Cerberus Operating Partner, board of director roles as well as experience in a number of successful companies. Notably, those include:

• Circor International, executive vice president and chief financial officer
• Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky Aircraft Company, vice president of finance and chief financial officer
• Lockheed Martin Corporation, corporate controller and chief accounting officer
• PricewaterhouseCoopers, partner

Next Level Chairman and CEO Jack Gordon said of the appointment, “We are excited to welcome Rajeev Bhalla as a Director at Next Level Aviation. Rajeev’s impressive career makes him an invaluable resource and advisor for the senior management team at Next Level Aviation as we plan our strategic future growth.”

Gordon continued, “In addition to adding Rajeev to our Board of Directors, he will also chair our Audit Committee as a financial expert and be a member of our Governance Committee.”

“Next Level Aviation’s admirable position in the used serviceable materials market and strong focus on operational efficiency makes it an exciting time to join the Board. I look forward to bringing my aerospace and defense market knowledge, as well as financial expertise, to drive long-term growth and profitability for the company,” Bhalla said.

Erickson Named Chief People and Diversity Officer of Incora

 Incora announced today that Kevin Erickson has been appointed chief people and diversity officer. Effective April 19, 2021, Erickson leads the company’s global human resources (HR) function, with responsibility for Incora’s people strategy including driving diversity, equity and inclusion while fostering a “one-Incora” culture that inspires and motivates employees around a shared set of values and goals. Erickson has deep and extensive experience in international HR disciplines and processes, and a demonstrated history of developing best-in-class global HR and communications organizations.  

Incora is a leading provider of innovative supply chain solutions to aerospace and defense, as well as automotive, industrial, pharmaceutical, and other industries. It provides a comprehensive suite of supply chain management solutions – including inventory management, Just-in-Time (JIT), Chemical Management Services (CMS), kitting, and 3PL / 4PL services. Incora is dedicated to understanding customer needs and providing innovative new products, services and customized solutions that deliver on its promise of reducing complexity and increasing reliability for customers. It has a global footprint with 60+ locations across 18 countries. 

“I am excited to lead the talented team at Incora on our growth trajectory to become the world’s leading, most innovative provider of integrated supply chain solutions,” Kevin Erickson commented. “It is through our people that we will achieve our customers’ trust to reduce complexity in their business and enable their mission-critical work. I am looking forward to the journey.”

Prior to joining Incora, Erickson served as the chief human resources officer at Signature Aviation plc (formerly BBA Aviation plc) where he was responsible for transforming separate HR functions into one with strong shared service centers, centers of excellence, improved strategic business partnership and significant process improvement.

Before joining Signature, Erickson held several executive roles at Ingersoll Rand, including vice president HR for Club Car, vice president HR for Global Integrated Supply Chain, and vice president HR for Trane Commercial Systems. While at Ingersoll Rand, he successfully led the organization through many change programs, developed strategic workforce plans for key growth initiatives and served as a trusted advisor on cultural transformations. He held similar roles at Elementis plc, a UK-based chemical company, as well as GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals.

Summit Aviation Promotes Hurst

Summit Aviation announced that it has promoted Dennis Hurst to the position of regional sales manager. 

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Hurst has 17 years of mechanical experience with 15 of those years dedicated to aviation. Hurst was initially introduced to Summit Aviation in 2011 as a contracted flight test mechanic for Strom Aviation. He officially transitioned from that role to the Summit team in 2013. In time, he moved up as Summit’s flight test team lead, and most recently, program lead. 

As a regional sales manager, Hurst will support Summit’s airborne law enforcement and ISR customer base; state and federal agencies; King Air owners and operators and other general aviation aircraft. 

Hurst earned his bachelor’s degree in Program Technical Management specializing in Project Management from DeVry University. He is currently pursuing a Program Management Professional certificate from the Project Management Institute. 

West Star Promotes Dan Sies To Falcon Supervisor

West Star Aviation announced the promotion of Dan Sies to Falcon maintenance supervisor at their East Alton, Ill. (ALN) facility.

Sies has more than 20 years of aviation experience starting with West Star in the Citation department and then transferring to Falcon in 2006 as an AMT dead for the past four years.

“Dan is an intricate part of the team and his in-depth skills will continue to add to the overall expertise West Star offers to all its customers,” said Garret Heisler, Falcon program director (ALN).

West Star Aviation specializes in the repair and maintenance of airframes, engines and APUs, avionics installations and repair, major modifications, interior refurbishment, exterior paint, accessory services and parts.

Vallair Appoints Filho as Director of Material Management

Vallair has appointed Armando Filho as director of Material Management. Filho will be responsible for Vallair’s component support division complementing the activities of the teardown team ensuring that customers extract maximum value from their assets.

Vallair offers an integrated supply chain in conjunction with a component repair shop allowing it to oversee the return to full service of all components requiring repairs or overhauls, and ensuring customers have timely access to parts, worldwide.

Vallair has recently augmented its MRO capability by signing an LoI with the Centre-Val de Loire and the Châteauroux Airport Establishment. The LoI will see Vallair awarded a ten-year lease for a state-of-the-art full-service aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul and cargo conversion hangar adjacent to its existing aerostructures repair and logistics facility in Châteauroux, France.  Vallair’s technical support teams oversee the return to service of all components requiring repair or overhaul, whilst minimising costs and streamlining the return to service of critical parts. The Company’s capability further extends to accommodating concurrent aircraft and engine teardowns.

“Material Management is one of the main support areas in the Company. I will be focusing on improving performance and cost effectiveness, adding value to our processes and for our customers,” comments Filho. “Although the pandemic has presented many difficulties, Vallair has sought out opportunities which will come to fruition over the coming months and years. Our A321 cargo conversion programme is a prime example of this. The pandemic has seen a boom in the demand for air cargo due to the burgeoning requirements of e-commerce and e-freight. There will of course be challenges, but Vallair is ready to be responsive and reactive.”

Filho has amassed experience in supply chain, procurement, planning, line & base maintenance and operations management in a career spanning more than thirty years. He most recently worked at Embraer as head of Material Services EMEA.

von Muehlen to Become COO of Alaska Airlines

Alaska Air Group announced the appointment of Constance von Muehlen as chief operating officer of Alaska Airlines, effective April 3, 2021. Upon assuming this role, von Muehlen will join Alaska’s executive committee and report to Ben Minicucci, who becomes chief executive officer on March 31, 2021. She succeeds current COO, Gary Beck, who has announced his retirement following an impressive 47-year career in aviation.

A 30-year aviation veteran who received her leadership training flying Black Hawk helicopters as a Captain in the U.S. Army, von Muehlen brings a proven track record of safety and operational excellence to the role. As COO, von Muehlen will oversee the day-to-day operations on the ground and in the air for Alaska Airlines, focusing on delivering on Alaska’s commitment to genuine, caring service that ensures a safe, reliable, hassle-free and welcoming experience for all guests. She will also serve as board chair of McGee Air Services, where she will oversee operations at Alaska’s ground services subsidiary.

“Constance is a deeply trusted leader who brings out the best in people. She unlocks the potential of each individual to drive a solution-oriented team approach,” said Minicucci. “Constance has an impressive ability to manage complexity, simplify systems and see around corners to meet the future demands of our business. As we welcome guests back to the skies following the COVID-19 crisis, I can’t think of a better person to oversee our recovery.”

Most recently, von Muehlen served as senior vice president of maintenance and engineering where she led all safety, compliance and operational performance of the airline’s mainline Boeing and Airbus fleet. Prior to that, von Muehlen served as Horizon Air’s chief operating officer, where she oversaw the customer service, inflight, pilot, maintenance and system operations control teams.

Before joining the airline in 2011 as Director of Engine Maintenance, von Muehlen spent 20 years in aviation maintenance, including her role as general manager of Pratt and Whitney Canada’s service center in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, and as director of airframe maintenance at Air Canada. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a certificate in Executive Leadership Training from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. She also completed an executive MBA at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

Upon assuming this role, von Muehlen will make Alaska Airlines history by becoming the company’s first female COO.

Twelve-Year-Old to Major in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech

A 12-year-old with exceptional abilities will attend Georgia Tech and major in aerospace engineering. The young man, Caleb Anderson, has always exhibited abilities beyond his years, learning to read at age two – his mother has videos of him reading the U. S. Constitution at that age. After telling his parents he was bored with the middle school curriculum at the school he attended, the Marietta, Georgia resident began taking classes at a community college last fall. His story caught the eye of officials at Georgia Tech. After meeting with the chairman of the aerospace engineering program, he was offered a chance to go there. Anderson will start next semester.