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Office Hours

Posts tagged: Quest Aircraft Co.

Quest Aircraft will find new CEO, and starts to increase Kodiak production

The CEO of Sandpoint airplane manufacturer Quest Aircraft Company is stepping aside, at the same time the company has said it’s boosting production of its highly regarded Kodiak.

Paul Schaller, who’s been in the CEO seat at the privately held firm since 2004, has become a consultant to the company. No reason was offered for his change of job.

Ron Wright, director of operations, is taking over as acting general manager at the Sandpoint manufacturing facility. The board will begin a search for a new CEO, said spokeswoman Julie Stone.

Orders for Kodiaks, which sell for roughly $1.6 million, have increased as the general aviation industry starts to recover. The company is gearing up to produce three aircraft per month, an increase from two per month earlier this year.

The company produced 14 Kodiaks during 2010. The single-turboprop aircraft is popular for flying into rugged terrain and for using jet fuel.

A lot of people helped start the Spokane Turbine Center

A few bits of information left out of a Wednesday SR story about the Spokane Turbine Center deserve some mention in the Office Hours blog.  (To see a short video about the three-week course offered by the STC, it’s here.  The full story is here.)

For one, the building the STC has moved into, at the intersection of Rutter Parkway and Fancher, is the renovated former home of the 116th Observation Squadron, which was created and first stationed at Felts Field in 1924. STC Executive Director Jeff Turcotte noted that an anonymous benefactor covered the cost of renovating the stately brick building that is the STC offices.

The 116th eventually evolved into the 142nd Air Defense Group, which became the Air Force refueling wing based at Fairchild Air Force Base.

Second, the training offered by STC is focused on the Kodiak, a small, powerful turboprop aircraft designed by Quest Aircraft Co., in Sandpoint.

The Kodiak was designed by Tom Hamilton, who resides in the Newport area. Paul Schaller, CEO of Quest, said the initial capital to launch the company came from about a dozen U.S. mission aviation groups.


 

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