Industry on the move: Pilatus’ Oscar Schwenk to step down


Pilatus Aircraft chairman, Oscar Schwenk announced he will be stepping down this summer, but will remain with the company in a non-operational capacity. The news came at the company’s 2020 results release, Schwenk has been in the role since 2006.

Joining Pilatus as an engineer back in 1979, Schwenk managed the company as CEO from 1993 to 2006 and then as chairman and CEO until 2012. In 2000, he took Pilatus out of the Unaxis Group to independent status with private Swiss shareholders. Schwenk has also been responsible for the PC-7 MkII, PC-9 M, PC-12, PC-21 and PC-24.

“In Hansueli Loosli, a current member of the board of directors, we have found a capable personality who is available and qualified for this office,” said Schwenk. Loosli joined Pilatus’s board mid-pandemic and has previously chaired boards, including Swisscom and Bell Food Group.

Pilatus brought in $1.2bn in 2020, almost matching its 2019 results, and delivered 129 aircraft, just five below the 134 delivered in the previous year. Whilst operating income of $169m edged out 2019 results of $167m, the order book fell from some $2.18bn at the end of 2019 to $1.85bn. Meaning new orders came to $913m for the year 2020.

Elsewhere, Stevens Aerospace and Defense systems has appointed Dwayne Chandler as director of Avionics Sales.

“This is great news for Stevens, particularly for our continued growth as a leader in this segment,” said Phil Stearns, Director of Sales and Marketing at Stevens. “The depth of Dwayne’s avionics knowledge and the respect he has earned within the industry will be an incredible asset for Stevens and our customers.”

Chandler brings more than 30 years of hands-on avionics experience including avionics technician at Timco, avionics install crew chief and sales manager at Landmark Aviation, and most recently serving as avionics sales manager at Constant Aviation.

Chandler will work with both the Stevens corporate and military sales teams, while also operating closely with each of Stevens’ four avionics locations, as well as with the development of Stevens’ Supplemental Type Certificate programmes. In addition, he will build on relationships with the key OEMs in the avionics field.