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HANGAR TALK


John Frasca Appointed President/CEO of Frasca International


John Frasca has been appointed President and CEO of Frasca International, Inc. fol- lowing the announcement that founder Rudy Frasca has retired from the active management of the company. Rudy continues to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Frasca International. John Frasca has served as the company’s Vice President since 2003 and has gradually taken over more of his father’s duties in recent years as Rudy and his wife Lucille enjoyed semi-retire- ment and spending time with their grandchildren. John has worked for the family-owned company since 1972, when he began performing various tasks around the factory after school. John studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois and was instrumental in directing the technical evolution of Frasca flight trainers from the pioneering mechanical analog designs developed by his father into the modern digital elec- tronic designs that dominate the world’s pilot training market


ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL


today. Promoted to Vice President of Operations in 1986, John Frasca has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company for the past 25 years and has over- seen its transition from a small specialty manufacturer of gen- eral aviation oriented training devices to one of the world’s premier flight simulator sup- pliers. Frasca’s management team and goals remain unchanged. According to John Frasca “we will continue to provide the highest quality flight simulators through innovative engineer- ing, quality manufacturing, sound management and unmatched customer service. We expect continued growth based on increased market share as well as expansion into new segments of the flight training industry.” ◆


ration for the UH-1Y Huey. “During our deployment, we


Crew chief Seat Design Becomes Corps-wide Standard, Nets $5,000


Sgt. Zachary Lucas, 26, from St. Louis, Mo., was awarded with a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and a check for Department of Defense cost savings for his ingenuity in developing a new seat configu-


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were told to come up with a way to carry five passengers in a way that we would not be affected in the back,” Lucas said. “Our seating configuration goes from three seats to one seat in the center. With three seats in the center, we get limited viability to employ the weapons systems or tend to the packs.” Lucas, a six-year veteran, designed a two-man bed seat during his deployment to Afghanistan in 2009. He pro- cured the prototype hardware and coordinated with Marines from Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 40 for production. The current configuration allows for a three-man bench seat or a single seat. The modi- fication allows for greater mobility throughout the cabin to assist passengers and maneu- verability around weapons sys- tems.


“I modified the support poles that go on the transmis- sion wall,” Lucas said. “I short- ened them up and centered seats on the supporting beams.” The “Lucas seat” gives Huey


crews a tactically viable alterna- tive, capable of fulfilling all 13 utility mission and essential


tasks including providing better safety and capability during combat missions. Lucas said the modified seats offer both pas- sengers and crew chiefs to view the multi-function displays in front and view the area of oper- ations without obstructions. Lucas created five modifica- tions and installed them on hel- icopters during his deployment. A prototype was tested here and approved by U.S. Naval Air Systems Command. Bell Helicopter manufactured more and the prototype became a Corps-wide issue.


Col. Shaun Sadler, the com- manding officer of Marine Air Group 39, said the seats will allow for maximum maneuver- ability and is a critical capability for machine gunners who found it physically challenging to operate their weapon. Lucas’ initiative has inspired his peers, who are researching and developing other modifica- tions to make operating easier. A group of Marines are cur-


rently developing a map rack to install in the center area between pilots and the crew to keep their maps held down, making it easier for the crew to read them while the aircraft is in flight.


Sadler, praised Lucas’ drive and initiative to create some- thing that would benefit Marine Corps aviation. “Initiative like that is a rare thing,” said Sadler, as Lucas showcased the new seat. “Once you see it and act on it, there is no limit of where you can go.” ◆


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