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Monday, February 4, 2008

Silver State Staff, Students Scramble

Staff and students of Silver State Helicopters are scrambling to figure out what is going on with that training outfit. The day opened with reports of an imminent suspension of operations by the North Las Vegas, Nev.-based company, which has about 700 employees, more than 2,000 students, and flight schools throughout the United States. Consquently, helicopter-focused online forums swelled with rumors, reports, and the vitriole that typically fills anonymous discussions of Silver State and its founder, president, and CEO, Jerry Airola. Rotor & Wing has learned that the company is beset at least in part by disagreements among shareholders and others of influence with Silver State over recent management decisions. Ironically, the controversy follows closely Airola's appointment to the Nevada Economic Development Advisory Board, a group of businesspeople and legislators who aim to diversify that state's economic base. It also follows an NTSB report that the March 27, 2007 crash of a Silver State Robinson R44 training flight in Florida was caused in part by "the company management's inadequate surveillance and enforcement of maintenance procedures, the excessive maintenance workload due to inadequate staffing of maintenance personnel, and the insufficient management of maintenance tasks." For related news

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