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Develop Your Next Aviation Manager with CAM

by David Wyndham 28. April 2014 13:58
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Professional development is a given expectation within management. Within aviation, this expectation clearly extends to aviation-specific training. Pilots get recurrent training in simulators, maintenance technicians get recurrent training on the airframe, engine or avionics. But we do these men and women a disservice when we promote them from a technical position into a managerial position without giving them the tools they need to be successful managers.

I have seen instances where a senior captain who has done an exemplary job in the cockpit is congratulated and promoted into the aviation department manager position. What seems like a logical move turns sour when the pilot-turned-Manager finds himself facing a budget cut, a problem employee, and OSHA regulatory issues in the hangar. None of these situations was addressed during engine-out training! They got frustrated and either seek a return to the cockpit or leave for another flying position with no management duties. Future aviation leaders need training and experience in the managerial arts.

Commanding a second person in the cockpit takes special skills. But those skills need additional development for leading a large team. Corporate aviation leaders need to understand the vision and mission of the corporation and how aviation is an essential business tool. They need to know how to  align their aviation department goals with the overall corporation's goals. They then need to develop a leadership and communication style appropriate to their personality that will inspire they aviation team.

Aviation department leaders need to develop skills in operations management. This extends well beyond aircraft operations to include business risk analysis, cost benefit analysis, record keeping and audit requirements, OSHA and hazardous materials regulations, and more. As part of their operations management the aviation leader is often a facilities manager. 

Lastly, the aviation manager needs skills in all the remaining business management skills. The aviation manager is running a small business. They need financial skills in budgeting, forecasting, cost management, and taxes. They need to know what the record keeping requirements are and to be able to understand asset management of the aircraft and facilities.  The aviation manager needs to understand the corporate HR domain, and be able to communicate those policies to all the employees. This training combines both regulatory requirements and personnel management skills, or soft skills.

Within business aviation, we are fortunate to have a customized program geared to develop aviation professionals into management professionals: The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Certified Aviation Manager (CAM).

The NBAA CAM certification and education program offers credit for professional experience, college courses, and professional development programs offered within the aviation community. The CAM program is a rigorous professional certification that is designed to maximize a busy aviation professional's time in developing the skills need to be managers in leaders.

Don't overlook maintenance technicians for this CAM training. I see the pilot career path progress from First Officer to Captain to Chief Pilot to Aviation Department Manager. But too often the maintenance technical career path ends at Chief of Maintenance. Even that position requires management and leadership skills. Maintenance Technicians are an overlooked source of future aviation department leaders. They often have a significant understanding of the aviation operation beyond the toolbox that the pilots have yet to learn. 

Promote personal development for your flight department personnel, just as a company does for middle managers seeking career advancement.


 

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David Wyndham | Flying

Landmark Aviation Signs Agreement to Acquire Ross Aviation

by GlobalAir.com 23. April 2014 17:25
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Image Courtesy Landmark Aviation

(Houston, TX – April 23, 2014) Landmark Aviation announced today that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ross Aviation, a network of fixed based operations located throughout the United States, from investment funds affiliated with Centre Partners Management LLC and management. The acquisition, which is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the second half of 2014.

“We are very excited about this acquisition, as the high quality Ross network is complementary to ours, and will extend the Landmark network to key U.S. airports, allowing us to better serve our customers,” explains Dan Bucaro, Landmark Aviation President and CEO. “We are also looking forward to working with the various airport authorities and becoming active members in each of those communities.”

Jeff Ross, CEO of Ross Aviation, said “We are excited for the many opportunities this combination will bring for Ross Aviation and its employees. We believe the transaction will further increase the value proposition for our customers, and we look forward to the combined company’s continued growth and success.”

Rothschild is acting as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Landmark. Harris Williams & Co. is acting as financial advisor and Dechert LLP is serving as legal advisor to Ross Aviation.

About Landmark Aviation - Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Landmark Aviation operates a network of fixed base operations located throughout the U.S., and in Canada and Western Europe. The Company offers a wide range of services, including FBO, MRO, charter and management. Landmark is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group. For more information, visit www.landmarkaviation.com.

About The Carlyle Group - The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with over $189 billion of assets under management. Carlyle's purpose is to invest wisely and create value. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Fund of Funds Solutions –in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs 1,500 people in 34 offices across six continents.The Carlyle Group – Website

About Ross Aviation - Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Ross Aviation operates a network of fixed base operations located throughout the U.S. The Company provides aviation fueling, hangar and other line services to business and commercial aviation customers. Ross Aviation is a portfolio company of Centre Partners Management LLC. For more information, visit www.rossaviation.com.

About Centre Partners - Centre Partners, founded in 1986, is a leading private equity firm with a middle market focus that seeks to make acquisitions and equity investments alongside management teams who have or desire a meaningful economic stake in the future success of their businesses. Centre Partners has invested over $3 billion in more than 90 transactions in partnership with management teams. Centre Partners provides those teams with access to its unique resources, which include an extended network of experienced and proven operating executives. Additional information is available at www.centrepartners.com.

The Aerobatic Experience of a Lifetime

by Tori Williams 23. April 2014 09:16
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There is great excitement around Louisville right now. Last weekend Thunder Over Louisville came to our charming little city. Thousands of people gathered around the Ohio River to watch the Blue Angels, Lima Lima Flight team, Trojan Horsemen, Team AeroDynamix, and several other big names in airshow entertainment. It was a sunny day with a slight breeze, the perfect setting for the 25th anniversary of the airshow.

One of these Thunder performers was John Klatt. He is an Air National Guard pilot who proudly flies the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” and C-130 “Hercules” aircraft on combat, air support, and humanitarian missions. In addition to all of this, he is an airshow performer extraordinaire with over 10 years’ experience flying for millions of spectators. In his current routine he flies his MXS in a plethora of twists, turns, and flips at stunning speeds.

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to ride along with John and his flight crew for some practice before the big event. I strapped on my parachute and climbed into the front seat of their 300 horsepower Extra 300L. I had not experienced aerobatics previously, so as they secured me with the abundance of harnesses and safety straps I had a brief moment where I was questioning what I was getting myself into. Being born a thrill seeker, I gave a thumbs up to the crew and braced myself for the adventure that awaited us.

After an incredibly speedy liftoff, we flew in close proximity behind John in his single seat MXS. When we reached the practice area he headed north of the Ohio river and we headed south to do maneuvers. We started out simple, with just a dive from 5000’ to gain airspeed and roll into some steep turns. After this we did a hammerhead, loop, and barrel roll. I tried to play it cool but every moment I lost sight of the ground I couldn’t help but grin.

Flying aerobatics is what I believe to be one of the fundamentals of aviation. Humans have always been seeking out the biggest thrills. We question how fast something can go, how high we can fly. Part of human nature is pushing the limits and finding new ways of controlling our surroundings. For years we have been building faster and better aircraft in this pursuit of maximizing our abilities. Maybe I am getting too philosophical with this, but the entire concept of aerobatics beautifully demonstrates the human spirit. Airshows are built around this human adoration of pushing boundaries. The fact that we have created machines capable of such breathtaking feats is worth celebration enough. Add in the remarkable skill and talent of pilots like John Klatt, and you have a perfect display of human intellect and liveliness.

After I hopped out of the Extra 300L, I felt like my eyes had been opened to a whole new world of flying capabilities. The sheer power and agility of the plane shocked me. This truly was an unforgettable experience and I want to thank John Klatt and his team for this opportunity.

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Flying | Tori Williams

Patty Wagstaff to Appear at Build A Plane’s Teachers’ Day

by GlobalAir.com 23. April 2014 09:00
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April 17th, 2014, Los Angeles--Three-time national aerobatic champion and International Aerospace Hall of Famer Patty Wagstaff will speak at Build A Plane’s 2014 Teachers’ Day event on Tuesday, July 29th at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. The annual event brings teachers together from across the nation to examine ways to use aviation to motivate kids to learn science, math, engineering and technology.

“We cannot tell you how excited we are to have the first lady of aviation come to our program and share her experiences with teachers from all across the United States,” Build A Plane’s executive director Debbie Phillips said.

Wagstaff is a six-time member of the US Aerobatic Team and the first woman to ever become the national aerobatics champion. Her airplane now hangs in the Smithsonian Museum in the Pioneers of Flight Gallery. Patty also donates a tremendous amount of her time to charitable endeavors, including travel to East Africa to train pilots for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) who protect Kenya’s elephants, rhino and other natural resources from poachers.

Now in its fifth year, Build A Plane’s Teachers’ Day provides teachers with ideas and insight to use aviation as a way to motivate America’s youth to learn subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math. Teachers will hear a series of presentations from a variety of aviation alphabets, including AOPA, EAA, GAMA, FAA as well as from the National Air & Space Museum, Honeywell, Aviation Explorers and more.

“Teachers’ Day is free and open to any teacher who’d like to participate,” Phillips continued. Participants can register at BuildAPlane.org. By participating in the event, teachers get free admittance to AirVenture compliments of EAA as well as a free lunch and free parking.

Build A Plane is a non-profit organization that gives kids a chance to build real airplanes in school, placing more than 200 general aviation aircraft into schools across the United States since 2003.

For more information on Teachers’ Day or Build A Plane, contact Debbie Phillips at 505-980-5915 or by clicking BuildAPlane.org.

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Press Release

ABACE 2014 Highlights: Gulfstream Dominates, Airbus Unveils New Interior

by Sarina Houston 16. April 2014 02:44
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Photo Courtesy: Gulfstream

The Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) is underway in Shanghai and so far, it seems like Gulfstream has dominated the show. This year, Asia's largest business aviation event is hosting almost 200 exhibitors and over 35 static aircraft displays. Here are the ABACE 2014 highlights so far:

G280 Speed Records (...again):
By now we know that Gulfstream doesn't like to fly anywhere without breaking a record. And they've done it again - this time, with the G280. The super-midsize, long-range jet had already set 45 city-pair speed records before it set two more on the way to ABACE this year, making stops in Germany, Dubai and Hong Kong before flying to Shanghai.

"The G280 flew 2,751 nautical miles/5,094 kilometers from Friedrichshafen Airport in Germany to Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates at an average speed of Mach 0.84 for a total flight time of 5 hours and 49 minutes," Gulfstream said in a statement on April 14th.

From Dubai, the G280 made the 3,449 mile flight to Honk Kong International Airport with a time of 7 hours and 7 minutes at Mach .82.

Minsheng Orders 60 Aircraft from Gulfstream:
In one of the largest business aviation deals ever, Minsheng Financial Leasing Company Ltd. ordered 60 aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. The deal was made in the last part of 2013, but the partnership was announced and celebrated at ABACE on Tuesday, according to a statement by Gulfstream on Tuesday.

The order reportedly includes 40 firm orders and 20 options - totaling over $2.6 billion, according to AIN- and includes aircraft from across the Gulfstream product line, including the G280, G450, G550 and G650.

ACJ319 Interior Change:
While Gulfstream stole the show with speed records and heavy orders, Airbus announced a new version of the company's ACJ319 corporate jet called the ACJ319 Elegance.

The ACJ319 Elegance has a newly designed interior, giving customers more options when it comes to customizing their aircraft. In addition, the new design allows for a smooth transition in the event that a customer wants to upgrade to a new cabin in the future, according to Airbus.

The Elegance design offers different module choices for lounge, office, conference or dining needs. It has a bathroom and galley up front, and a bedroom with a bathroom in the back.

Business Aviation Growth in China:
ABACE 2014 headlines also include the general outlook of business aviation in Asia, which is strong according to the deputy administrator for the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

Asian Sky Group (ASG) announced its 2013 Greater China Business Jet and Civil Helicopter Fleet Report at ABACE on Tuesday. According to the report, Gulfstream is dominating the general aviation market in China with almost 40 percent market share. Bombardier follows at 30 percent.


Image © Asian Sky Group

In 2013, the business jet market in China grew by 21 percent, with the largest growth seen by Embraer, Dassault Falcon and Hawker. The G-550 and G-450 are the most popular business jets in China, according to the report.

Finally, between 2007 and 2013, the business jet market in Greater China has grown at a rate of 34 percent, significantly higher than the global rate of five percent.

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Aircraft Sales | Press Release | Sarina Houston



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