The future is uncertain for Waterford, Mich.-based aviation services provider Aerodynamics Inc. (ADI) after the company laid off its remaining MRO staff last Wednesday. At the beginning of October, the company, which also operates an FBO and aircraft management business at Oakland County International Airport, announced a suite of layoffs of approximately half its employees, and another round followed earlier this month, around the same time its subsidiary ADI Shuttle Group filed for bankruptcy protection, citing more than $1 million in liabilities.
Ford Motor Company
Hawker Beechcraft filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and is currently in exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation Beijing, which has placed a stalking-horse bid to buy Hawker Beechcraft for $1.79 billion. However, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer will ultimately be sold in a public auction, meaning it is still very much up for grabs.
Surviving in the aviation business during an economic downturn is easier for diversified companies like Pentastar Aviation. The company has two FBOs–one at Oakland County International Airport in Pontiac, Mich., and another at Van Nuys Airport in Southern California. “It’s been tough sledding,” admitted Edsel B. Ford II, who bought the operation called DaimlerChrysler Aviation on Oct.
The general and business aviation alphabet groups participated in a General Aviation Caucus event at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday that featured academy award-winning actor and avid pilot Harrison Ford. Before more than 250 congressional staff and industry representatives, including at least 20 House representatives and five senators, Ford talked about his passion for aviation and GA’s positive economic impact and humanitarian efforts.
Sitting behind a long table in front of Congress in November, the CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three automakers had barely begun pleading for a taxpayer bailout when they hit a totally unexpected snag.
The news that General Motors and Ford are shutting their flight departments has rattled the business aviation community. Some attributed the actions to the sensational media coverage the “Big 3” (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) executives faced after flying to Capitol Hill in private jets, while others blamed the subsequent $14 billion House bill that called for the distressed companies to sell their aircraft as a condition of the bailout.
Rodney Hamilton, the director and chief pilot of Ford’s now-defunct flight department, summed up the state of the industry yesterday in two words: “difficult times.” In the past week, General Motors and Ford Motor Company announced they were shutting their respective flight departments, and investors learned that Citigroup has put two of its jets–worth $30 million each–on the block.
Sikorsky’s Keystone Helicopter division is gearing up to produce both the S-76D and the S-92 at its Coatesville, Pa. Heliplex campus. The first S-76D is scheduled to fly by year-end, but Keystone’s president, David Ford, acknowledges, “That’s going to be a challenge.” Keystone has received three S-76D fuselages from Aero Vodochody and hopes to ship the first completed S-76D to Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Fla.
The new owner of Pentastar Aviation is described as an “aviation enthusiast,” and his acquisition of the former DaimlerChrysler Aviation is his first venture into an aviation service company. Edsel Ford II was elected to the board of directors of Ford Motor Co. in 1988. His career at Ford spanned more than 25 years. He was named president and COO of Ford Motor Credit Co. in May 1991 and elected a company vice president in December 1993.
DaimlerChrysler Aviation, which had been on the block for several months, has been acquired from the German-based automaker by Ford Motor Company board member Edsel Ford II. As a result of the sale, the facility has been given back its former name–Pentastar Aviation.
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