PiperJet Dead?

Big changes at Piper include review of Altaire program.

PiperJet Altaire

PiperJet Altaire

Piper Aircraft today issued a release detailing big changes at the company, which include the departure from Piper of aviation industry veteran and Executive Vice President Randy Groom, who has led the company for the past years to what Piper calls on-target performance despite the down economy. Also out is CEO Geoffrey Berger, who will be replaced by Simon Caldecott, who for the past two years as served as a VP in charge of supply chain and manufacturing. Prior to that, he served in various high-level positions with Raytheon and Hawker in manufacturing, production and testing. Piper has not announced any decision on who will fill Groom's position or Caldecott's former slot.

Perhaps the biggest news is that Piper has decided to undertake a review of the Piper Altaire (formerly the PiperJet), which Caldecott says is being done to "ensure the company is properly aligning business goals and light jet market forecasts with investment strategies and economic forecasts. The company will announce the conclusion of this review to employees and the industry as soon as possible."

The wording of the release might lead some to believe that a decision to shelve the jet program has already been made—announcing a decision to keep a program going is not a common thing. But a Piper spokesman told Flying that this decision has not yet been made.