GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Mike Spears has joined American Eurocopter as Senior Director, Lakota Production and Retrofit at its Columbus, Miss. production facility that produces the UH-72A Lakota helicopter. Spears replaces Fred Gerard, Senior Director of LUH Production, who is taking a leadership position with Airbus in Mobile, Ala.
In his new position Spears will lead American Eurocopter’s team in continuing its record of producing the UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter on-time, on-cost and meeting all U.S. Army quality requirements. He also will oversee repair and modifications of helicopters for the Army and other U.S. government customers.
Spears has more than 25 years of helicopter production experience. He began his career as a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic and rose to the position of general manager of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. production facility in Troy, Ala. At Sikorsky, Spears lead a team of more than 800 people that produced and delivered U.S. Navy H-60 helicopters and provided modifications and repairs to U.S. and foreign military customers.
“We welcome Mike to American Eurocopter and his role as leader of the Lakota production and retrofit team,” said Peter Cutler, vice president of Government Programs. “He will continue the outstanding performance record the plant has in meeting our customers’ requirements for Lakota production, modifications and repairs.
“We want to thank Fred Gerard for leading the Lakota program in Columbus since its inception in 2006,” said Cutler. “Under Fred’s leadership, the Lakota has been one of the most successful programs in Army aviation with more than 260 helicopters delivered to the Army, National Guard and Navy, all of them on-time, on-budget and on-quality. The performance by Fred and his team in Columbus has been outstanding.
“We wish Fred much success in his new career with Airbus and thank him for his service to American Eurocopter,” said Cutler.
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the world’s second largest aerospace and defense company. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.