Monthly Archives: August 2013

Governor proclaims September as Aviation Appreciation Month

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a proclamation declaring September as Aviation Appreciation Month, the Department of Transportation said in a release Friday.

The proclamation celebrates Kansas’ rich aviation history and recognizes the upcoming inaugural Kansas Aviation Expo, which will be held Sept. 26 and 27 at the National Center for Aviation Training in Wichita.

Kansas is one of five aviation clusters in the world, and the Air Capital is often considered the birthplace of general aviation, the release said.

The state’s aviation history began in September 1911 when Albin K. Longren became the first Kansan to fly a Kansas-built aircraft.

On September 25, Jesse R. Romo, acting director of the Department of Transportation’s aviation division, will present the Governor’s proclamation to the Wichita Aero Club at its luncheon, which will feature Selena Shilad, head of the Alliance for Aviation Across America.

The Kansas Aviation Expo will include business sessions on a variety of aviation issues and will feature guest speakers from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Weather Service and  others.

SPEEA petitions for Trade Act assistance for laid-off Spirit AeroSystems workers

Spirit AeroSystems engineering and professional and technical union has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor seeking training, income support and other benefits for laid-off workers through the federal Trade Act.

The filing was made by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace as Spirit announced a second round of layoffs in two months.

Trade Act funding is designed to help laid-off workers impacted by increased imports or companies moving work to other countries.

If approved, the laid-off employees at Spirit can apply for additional assistance, such as long-term training tuition allowance, income support, health care tax credit and job search and relocation allowances, SPEEA said.

Spirit announced Thursday that it will be offering voluntary retirements, voluntary layoffs and will also have involuntary layoffs as it works to reduce costs. A number has not been determined, the company said.

The cuts will affect salaried employees and managers.

In July, Spirit laid off 360 employees in Wichita and Tulsa. The company employs about 10,750 in Wichita.




Boeing predicts increased global demand for 1 million new airline pilots, technicians

Boeing says the commercial aviation industry will need more than 1 million new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplanes delivered over the next 20 years.

Projected pilot demand is increasing around the world, as is the demand for technicians in some regions.

The projections are part of Boeing’s just-released 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook.

According to the outlook, by 2032 there will be a need for 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians.

“The urgent demand for competent aviation personnel is a global issue that is here now and is very real,” Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services, said in a statement. “The key to closing the pilot and technician gap in our industry is enhancing our training with the latest, cutting-edge technologies to attract and retain young people interested in careers in aviation.”

EAA’s AirVenture Oshkosh sets dates through 2020

Each year, scores of Wichitans are among of the 500,000 people who travel to Oshkosh, Wisc., for the annual AirVenture fly-in convention, sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association.

The organization has set dates through 2020.  So you can mark your calendars now. (Some dates have been changed from previous schedules.)

“We realize that the dates of EAA AirVenture affect yearly schedules for the entire aviation community as well as events throughout the Wisconin and the Midwest, so we want to secure these future dates to minimize conflicts,” Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

2014: July 28 to Aug. 3

2015: July 20 to 26

2016: July 25 to 31

2017: July 24 to 30

2018: July 23 to 29

2019: July 22 to 28

2020: July 20 to 26

Aircraft maintenance technician scholarships available

The Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance is taking applications for scholarships to be awarded in March.

The application deadline is Dec. 1.

Scholarships are for students and working professionals who are members of the organization and open to men and women unless otherwise noted.

To date, the nonprofit group has awarded more than $120,000 in scholarships.

“AWAM scholarships provide an excellent opportunity to learn new methods, develop additional skills, get funds to upgrade the all-important tool box and embrace the exciting opportunities the field of aviation maintenance offers,” organizers said in a statement.

The scholarships available include awards for aircraft-specific maintenance training, engine-specific maintenance training, troubleshooting, avionics maintenance, aviation entrepreneur, helicopter maintenance and inspection authorization, according to the organization.

For information go to or call Anna Romer at 952-687-1252; Andew Csondor at 517- 712-9818 or Lynette Ashland at 912- 247-2908.



Spirit AeroSystems new CFO’s employment agreement includes $525,000 salary, incentives and bonuses

Spirit AeroSystems new senior vice president and chief financial officer, Sanjay Kapoor, will earn an annual salary of $525,000, two cash sign-on bonuses totaling $250,000 and two $1 million buyout signing bonus stock awards, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company announced last week that Kapoor, 53, a former vice president for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, will join the company as senior vice president and chief financial officer. The current CFO, Phil Anderson, will switch positions and lead the company’s defense and contracts.

Kapoor’s job becomes effective September 23.

As vice president of Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems division, Kapoor led a team of 4,000 employees and managed “every aspect of that business,” the filing said.

Prior to that position, he was vice president of finance and chief financial officer for the Raytheon division.

Kapoor received a bachelor of technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and earned dual master of business administration degree in finance and entrepreneurial management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

His annual salary may be adjusted from time to time based on Kapoor’s and the company’s performance, the filing said.

One of the two restricted stock awards valued at $1 million per award will be subject to a three-year vesting schedule with one-third of the award vesting after each year of service. The other award has a four-year vesting schedule with one-fourth of the award vesting after each year of service.

He also will be eligible for a cash or equity discretionary bonus with a target of 10 percent of his annual salary.

Kapoor’s employment agreement provides short-term and long-term incentives. He will receive an award equal to 100 percent of his base salary if target performance goals are reached and up to 200 percent of his salary if outstanding performance goals are reached. The amount will be depend on Spirit’s achievement of performance objectives, the filing said. Under the plan they could be less, more or equal to the target bonus and “could be zero.”

Kapoor’s employment may be terminated at any time by Spirit or Kapoor “for any reason or no reason, without cause,” the filing said. It may also be terminated by Spirit “for cause.”



Boeing completes first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has completed the first 787-9 Dreamliner, a stretch version of its 787-8, the company said.

The plane rolled out of Boeing’s Everett, Wash., factory  to the flight line on Monday. And teams are preparing the plane for first flight later this summer.

Spirit AeroSystems builds the nose section of both versions.

The 787-9 is 20 feet longer than the 787-8, carries 40 more passengers and flies an additional 300 nautical miles.

The second and third planes are in final assembly and the program is on track, the company said.

First delivery to Air New Zealand, the launch customer for the 787-9, is scheduled for mid-2014.


Boeing begins assembly of second KC-46A refueling tanker

Boeing begun assembly of the second Air Force KC-46A aerial refueling tanker this week at its Everett, Wash. plant, the company said Friday.

Less than two months ago, Boeing began assembly of the first of four engineering, manufacturing and development test aircraft.

Spirit AeroSystems builds the forward fuselage of the tanker, which is based on a Boeing commercial 767 airliner.

“Completing production of the four test aircraft on schedule is our priority as we prepare to enter the flight test phase of the program,” Maj. Gen. John Thompson, the Air Force executive officer for tankers, said in a statement. “The program continues to meet or exceed all contract milestones.”

The first test plane is expected to roll out of the Boeing factory in January with the second following in March.

Boeing plans to make the first flight early in 2015 with first deliveries beginning in 2016.

The company plans to build and deliver the first 18 tankers by 2017 with a total of 179 delivered by 2027 if all options under the contract are exercised. The planes will replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of Eisenhower-era aerial refueling tankers, which act as gas stations in the sky.

“We’re exactly where we want to be right now,” Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president and KC-45 tanker program manager, said in a statement.

In a year, all four test aircraft will be out of the factory and the first two will be flying, she said.


Cathay Pacific Airways recognizes Spirit AeroSystems Aftermarket business

Spirit AeroSystems’s Aftermarket Customer Support division was recognized by Cathay Pacific Airways.

Cathay Pacific gave Spirit it’s High Performing Partner Award.

In 2008, Spirit received a contract  to provide overhaul, repair and modification services for Cathay Pacific’s fleet of 777 Trent 800 thrust reversers.

The repair work is performed at Taikoo Spirit AeroSystems Composite Co., a joint venture with Spirit, HAECO/TAECO and others.

The business is located in Jinjiang, China.

“Cathay Pacific is a key customer to Spirit’s Aftermarket segment,” Mike Williams, Spirit Aftermarket Customer Support vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “We are very pleased to receive this award based on our customer’s high service standards.”

Cathay Pacific operates 24 Boeing 747, 49 Boeing 777, 37 Airbus A330 and 11 Airbus A340 airplanes. It has 80 firm orders on the books with Boeing and Airbus for additional planes.


AOPA board of trustees names pilot and businessman Mark Baker president, CEO.

courtesy photo

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a national organization of pilots, has named Mark Baker as its new president, the organization’s fifth president in its history.

Baker replaces Craig Fuller, who earlier this year told the board of his intentions to move on to other opportunities.

Baker, a native of Minnesota and an aircraft owner and pilot, began flying in his 20s. He now has more than 7,500 hours of flight time.

Most recently, he served as CEO of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corporation, a retailer of home improvement and garden products. He also served in senior executive roles at Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Gander Mountain Company, The Home Depot and other companies in the industry.

Baker takes office September 6.