Business aviation visionary leader Albert Ueltschi, 95, founder and chairman emeritus of aviation training provider FlightSafety International, died at his home in Vero Beach, Fla., on Thursday evening. After being bitten by the flying bug at an early age, Ueltschi soloed at 16 and later bought an open-cockpit airplane and barnstormed around the country.
Despite some media reports stating that Piper Aircraft was recently sold to the Government of Brunei, the Vero Beach, Fla. airframer told AIN that the transaction of authority for the company from corporate finance and investment management firm Imprimis to Brunei’s Ministry of Finance was merely a formalization of the original 2009 sale of the company by American Capital. In a release the company stated, “Piper Aircraft has been an investment of the Government of Brunei since 2009.
Piper Aircraft is facing repayment requests of government incentives received in 2008 to help the company upgrade its Vero Beach, Fla., facilities to modern hurricane standards and buy tools and equipment.
Piper Aircraft’s two-year search for a new home came full circle yesterday afternoon when the company announced it will stay in Vero Beach, Fla. Just minutes after the big announcement, AIN sat down with Piper president and CEO James Bass to find out why the aircraft manufacturer chose Vero Beach over Albuquerque, N.M., and Oklahoma City, the other finalists.