AHS Remembers Jeff Pino

AHS Mourns the Loss of Former Sikorsky President and AHS Chair of the Board Jeff Pino

Jeff PinoFormer Sikorsky President and AHS Chairman of the Board Jeff Pino was killed in a plane crash on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Pino, 61, was flying his vintage P-51D Mustang warbird with a friend near his hometown of Chandler, Arizona.

Jeffrey P. Pino was born in 1954 in Aberdeen, Maryland, into a military family. He attended the University of Arizona, and graduated with a BA in Psychology in 1976. Through the Army, he received a Master‘s Degree in Business Administration and Management in 1985 from Webster University, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Pino was a retired Master Army Aviator and served in US Army active, Reserve, and National Guard assignments for 26 years — 10 of them on active duty. Positions included US Cavalry assignments, both on the ground and in the air, culminating as a development test pilot/project officer specializing in armament testing at the Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. He was a distinguished honor graduate of the US Army Armor and Aviation Schools. He was a Certified Flight Instructor for both helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes, as well as an accomplished aerobatic and airshow performer.

Pino joined Bell in 1985 and held various positions including Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Executive Director for Europe, Director for Latin America, and Regional Manager for South America. Other assignments included Program Manager for the Bell Helicopter Team bidding on the LHX competition, and Program Manager for the production of the Kiowa Warrior (OH-58D) and Cobra (AH-1S) Modernization Programs. Pino left Bell after 17 years, as Senior Vice President for Commercial Business.

In February 2002, Pino began his career at Sikorsky as Senior Vice President for Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Commercial Programs. He was responsible for the development of strategic plans, mergers and acquisitions, advanced programs, worldwide sales, marketing, communications, and the execution of the commercial programs.

Pino served as the 18th President of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation from March 8, 2006 to July 1, 2012. During this time, he oversaw the acquisition of PLZ Mielec in Poland in 2007 and LifePort, Inc. in 2010. He left his mark on the company. In 2006, annual sales were $3.2B, with an operating profit margin of 5.4%. In 2012, those numbers were both approximately doubled to $6.8B and 10.5%, respectively. In addition, he funded the flight testing of the S-94 / X2 Technology demonstrator, which was named the winner of the 2010 Collier Trophy, as well as the initiation of the S-97 Raider. He oversaw expansion of Black Hawk production, the fabrication of the CH-53K King Stallion, and the certification of the S-76D.

Pino joined AHS in 1999, while at Bell Helicopter. He served as the AHS President (2007-2008) and Chairman of the Board (2008-2009). Pino was the winner of the 2009 AHS Membership Competition as a result of his enthusiastic personal involvement in recruiting members, significantly increasing the number of AHS members in the Stratford Chapter. During his tenure, he sponsored more than 100 new AHS members. He was famous for his motorcycles, barbeques and friendly demeanor with his employees.

After retiring from Sikorsky, Pino initiated the helicopter leasing business for Macquarie Group Limited in July 2013, serving as the initial CEO of Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing until leaving for the XTI Aircraft Company, where he was serving as Vice-Chairman. XTI is developing a VTOL aircraft called the TriFan 600. XTI Chairman David Brody wrote, “Jeff loved flying and he was genuinely excited about what the TriFan 600 will mean to the future of flight. As a man with big ideas, and even bigger dreams, Jeff was committed to bringing the TriFan 600 to market, and now, more than ever, so are we.”

Photo by Mike Hampson, HelicopterLinks.com. Used with permission. 

AHS International is accepting contributions to the Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) towards a scholarship in his name. Go to www.vtol.org/vff to make a donation.