Ex-CEO to Sell Holdings in Aerodynamics Inc.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Troubled Aerodynamics Inc. owner Scott Beale, having already resigned his executive positions with the carrier, will sell his interest in the company as well, the company stated in its response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s show cause order.

The carrier also said in the filing that it has added three members to its boards in addition to its newly hired president, CEO and chairman, industry veteran Darrell Richardson.

Thursday was the deadline for ADI to file a response to Transportation’s show cause order, issued Jan. 22. Mickey Bowman, ADI’s vice president of airline services, forwarded the filing to Dan Dickten, director of aviation at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna Township. Dickten subsequently forwarded the filing to board members and staff of the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the airport, and county commissioners of Mahoning and Trumbull counties, who appoint members to WRPA’s board, and to local media outlets.

“I think the document is self-explanatory and delineates the actions we have taken to address [the Department of Transportation’s] concerns,” Bowman said in the email. “We remain committed to moving this process forward.

The Department of Transportation has seven days to respond to ADI’s filing, Dickten said. “We are optimistic that the DOT will allow ADI to move forward with the daily air service flights between the Mahoning Valley from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and the Chicago O’Hare International Airport without further delay,” Dickten said in his email.

Thursday’s filing by ADI was in response to the show cause order Transportation issued regarding ADI’s application to upgrade its certification and allow it to provide service between the Vienna Township airport and Chicago O’Hare. In the order, Transportation recommended not only to deny ADI’s application for the expanded service but to revoke its existing certification.

The concerns Transportation expressed in its order centered on Beale and a civil court fraud finding against him last year, as well as his failure to report the court decision to the department.

ADI “carefully considered” the order “and immediately undertook decisive actions to directly and meaningfully address” the Transportation Department’s concerns, the company said in its filing.

Those actions began with Beale’s resignation as CEO, president and chairman of ADI and its parent companies, ADI Holdings Company Inc. and Aviation Capital Partners LLC.

As of Jan. 26, Beale “no longer holds any management, employee, board, consultant or sales agent position” with the ADI entities, according to the filing. Also, Beale “has committed to sell his 100% interest in [the ADI companies] and has already begun the process of selling his interests.”

Richardson’s hiring and his appointment to the companies’ boards, along with three new members — Bowman, Kenneth Swieter and Donald Greeson — was effective the same day as Beale’s resignation. All four have “substantial experience in aviation,” according to the filing.

The filing also notes that Robert Ward, although not mentioned as a concern in the department’s order, is no longer is a board member or has any ownership interest in the companies.

“As a result of these actions, ADI respectfully requests that [Transportation] “immediately issue an order” withdrawing the show cause order and the threat to revoke the company’s interstate and foreign charter passenger air transportation certificates; confirming that, based on the changes made that ADI meets the department’s managerial and compliance disposition requirements, and making clear that the order was not based on concerns about the safety of ADI’s operations.

ADI’s filing Thursday also requests that the department provide 30 days for Beale to place his shares in a voting trust acceptable to the agency and 120 days to complete the sale of the companies, and indicate its willingness to consider processing the pending application for scheduled interstate air transportation certificate authority, subject to ADI’s submission of updated fitness information.

Because Transportation’s show cause order “has raised concerns in the marketplace and among ADI’s customer base, ADI requests that the department act immediately on this request,” the company says. “ADI has addressed all of the department’s concerns with regard to ADI’s management and compliance disposition, except the ownership (sale) of the companies, which is in the process of being addressed.”

The order should also indicate Transportation’s willingness to continue processing ADI’s application for its expanded service, the company says. “ADI is anxious to begin, and the city of Youngstown is anxious to receive, first-time nonstop service to a major hub. ADI intends to vigorously prosecute its application for scheduled authority and will submit any updated fitness application requested,” it states.

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