U.S. President George Bush has nominated Bobby Sturgell to succeed Marion Blakey as head of the FAA. A former United Airlines pilot and U.S. Navy aviator, Sturgell is acting administrator and had served as Blakey’s deputy and special counsel. He also served as her special assistant when she chaired the National Transportation Safety Board before joining the FAA. A Naval Academy graduate, he also is an attorney.
Capt. Kurt Frisz of the St. Louis County (Mo.) Police Dept., has been selected to receive the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police Excellence in Police Aviation Award.
Bell Helicopter has promoted Barry Kohler to vice president, commercial production programs. He joined Bell in June 2004 as director of intermediate and medium programs, and also served as Light Helicopter Development Program director.
Keystone Helicopter has named Joel Fullerton as product support representative for its engine services division. An automotive industry veteran, Fullerton will work with external customers and Keystone’s various internal departments to ensure customer service issues are resolved quickly.
Sharon Desfor, president of HeliValue$, has been inducted into the National Assn. of Professional and Executive Women’s "Women of Excellence" Registry as an acknowledgement of her success and professional achievements. HeliValue$ produces The Official Helicopter Blue Book, provides helicopter appraisals, on-site inspections, and residual-value projections.
The Helicopter Assn. International has named its "Salute to Excellence" award winners for 2008. Milton Geltz, maintenance director of Metro Aviation in Shreveport, La. won the Aviation Maintenance Technician Award, Avionics Shop Supervisor Gary Royer of Canadian Helicopters in Edmonton, Alberta, the Aviation Repair Specialist Award, and Phillip Difiore, president of Rotorcraft Support of Van Nuys, Calif., the Helicopter Maintenance Award. The Air Operations Section of the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. is the winner of the Igor I. Sikorsky Award for Humanitarian Service, and the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Eurocopter HH-65C No. 6548 out of San Francisco has won the Eurocopter Golden Hour Award. Capt. Paul Smith of Helicopters Inc. of Linden, N.J., on assignment to WABC-TV, won the Joe Mashman Safety Award. Franz Levitskiy, pilot/instructor for UTair Aviation (Russia) in Surgut, Russia has been named Pilot of the Year, and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner Barry Lloyd of Sacramento, Calif. is recipient of the Outstanding Certified Flight Instructor Award. Chief Pilot Richard Dutson of Bristol-Myers Squibb of West Trenton, N.J. has won the Agusta Community Service Award and Barry Desfor, managing director of HeliValue$ of Wauconda, Ill., won the Excellence in Communications Award. Daniel Schwarzbach, president of the Airborne Law Enforcement Assn., is winner of the MD Helicopters Law Enforcement Award. Steve and Nancy Sullivan, founders of Aris Helicopters of Saratoga, Calif. have won the Lawrence D. Bell Memorial Award. Anthony Reece, pilot and owner of Hi Line Helicopters in Darrington, Wash., is recipient of the Robert E. Trimble Award.
SkyTrac Systems has named Mark Townend to its sales and marketing team, specializing in the airborne law enforcement sector. He served 10 years in the U.K. Royal Air Force as an aircraft engineer.