Rotorcraft Report: People

By Staff Writer | February 1, 2008
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Patricia O’Connor, founder of and pilot for Medflight in Cambridge Bay, Nunavit, has been named to the Order of Canada. She formed Medflight in 1991. It has served Yellowknife, Inuvik, and other points in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Nunavut. It now serves Cambridge Bay. The Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community, and service to the nation.

DynCorp International has hired William Jacobs as a vice president and general manager of Specialty Aviation and Counter-Drug Operations. He is responsible for leading global aviation operations and narcotics eradication at DynCorp International and supporting government and commercial customers worldwide, including those in hostile and austere locations. Jacobs recently retired as a brigadier general from the U.S. Army, where he served as the deputy commanding general and commandant of the Aviation Warfighting Center.

EADS North America Test and Services has appointed Karl Wickizer to the newly-created position of business development manager in Huntsville, Ala., with the focus on Army programs related to test, measurement, logistics, and electronic systems. He will lead the company’s efforts to establish Total System Life Management technologies. A 23-year U.S. Army veteran, he retired in 1998 as a lieutenant colonel and was a senior Army aviator rated in both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.


Clifford Gunsallus, vice president of engineering for the Helicopters Div. of Kaman Aerospace, has been named chairman of the board of directors of the Center for Rotorcraft Innovation, The center is a consortium of industry and academia that conducts collaborative, pre-competitive research and development and technology transfer with the U.S. government.

Kaman Corp. has named Neal J. Keating president and CEO. He is also a member of the company’s board of directors. As CEO, he succeeds Paul R. Kuhn, who will continue as chairman until his retirement on Feb. 29. Keating joined Kaman as president and COO on Sept. 17, 2007. He previously was COO of Hughes Supply.

The board of directors of Northstar Aerospace has appointed Michael Tkach as interim president and CEO. Tkach, who joined the board as non-executive director in November 2007, replaces Mark Emery, former president and CEO. Emery resigned recently to take a senior role with The Jordan Company, a private equity firm. Prior to joining Northstar, Tkach was responsible for all rotorcraft systems programs and supporting functional activities as vice president and general manager of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.

Carl "Woody" Woodard, founder of the helicopter and aircraft completions, MRO and maintenance services firm Texas Aviation Services and its long-serving CEO, has been named chairman emeritus. Woody Woodard is a substantial shareholder in the new venture that owns Fort Worth, Texas-based Texas Aviation Services and will remain active with the company in a consulting role. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ranger Aerospace and Aeronautics. Steve Townes is CEO of Ranger Aerospace and chairman of Texas Aviation Services.

Daniel Sitnam, president and CEO of Richmond, British Columbia-based Helijet International has named Rick Hill as vice president of Operations and Commercial Programs. Hill is to lead and oversee all facets of fixed-wing jet and helicopter air service operating standards and commercial development, with the support of a highly qualified management team. Hill has held a senior position with Helijet for 18 years and has managed commercial, financial, and technical operations while overseeing the primary development of Helijet’s scheduled helicopter air services.

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