DENVER, Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- XTI Aircraft Company (XTI) representatives expressed their deep sorrow after the loss of the company's Vice Chairman Jeff Pino, who died in a plane crash Feb. 5 near Phoenix. "There are no words to express the grief and sadness we feel at the passing of our very dear friend and colleague," said XTI founder and Chairman David Brody. "As the former President of Sikorsky Aircraft, Jeff was a true leader, pioneer and industry legend. As the Vice Chairman of XTI, Jeff was a brilliant strategist, visionary and expert in all things aviation. As our friend, he was all of that and so much more.
"Our hearts and sincere condolences go out to Jeff's family and friends," Brody continued, "and to the family and friends of Nick Tramontano, Jeff's long-time flying colleague who was also a victim of the tragedy."
Brody said the board has named XTI board member Charlie Johnson as interim Chief Executive Officer to oversee the continued development of the TriFan 600. "We're all still trying to absorb this shocking loss," Johnson said. "I'm humbled to be able to move forward with the team and, as Jeff would have wanted, not to waver from our commitment to bring the TriFan 600 to market."
Johnson, the former president and chief operating officer of Cessna Aircraft Company, has a long and remarkable record in aviation management, strategy, operations and production. Joining Cessna in 1979, he rose through the ranks, serving in a range of positions from manager of production flight test and eventually to vice president of aircraft completion and product support, senior vice president of operations, and executive vice president of operations, leading development, certifications, and product support of new airplanes.
"We want to assure everyone that XTI is not changing or delaying its technical development plans," Johnson said. "As we mourn the loss of Jeff and address the needs of the organization, we remain totally committed to the program. We appreciate the outpouring of support from XTI's strategic partners, vendors and others, and we thank our shareholders for playing such an important role in this revolution and the future of flight."
Brody said the company is continuing to accept investments as it moves toward closing the first round of its successful equity crowdfunding campaign. These funds will support development of the revolutionary new TriFan 600 aircraft, which combines the speed, range and comfort of a business jet with the ability to take off and land like a helicopter.
XTI Aircraft Company is a privately owned aviation business based in Denver. XTI is guided by a leadership team with decades of experience, a deep well of expertise, and success bringing new aircraft to market. XTI is founded on a culture of customer-focused problem solving to meet the evolving needs of modern travelers.
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SOURCE XTI Aircraft Company