NEWS // 2016/02/06

Former Sikorsky president Jeff Pino killed in plane crash

by Vertical Staff
XTI Aircraft honored its late vice chairman, Jeff Pino, with this photo and a statement on the company's website. XTI Aircraft Photo

Former Sikorsky president Jeff Pino and his friend Nicholas (Nick) Tramontano were reported killed Friday in the crash of Pino's P-51 Mustang near Maricopa, Ariz.

Although the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) did not immediately identify either victim of the crash, XTI Aircraft Company, for which Pino served as vice chairman, confirmed Pino's death in a statement on the XTI website. The company also confirmed that Tramontano was the second victim in the crash. Pino and Tramontano were said to be longtime aviation friends.

“There are no words to express the grief and sadness we feel at the passing of our very dear friend and colleague Jeff Pino on Feb. 5,” stated XTI Aircraft founder and chairman David Brody. “As the former president of Sikorsky Aircraft, Jeff was a true leader, pioneer and industry legend. As the vice chairman of XTI Aircraft Company, Jeff was a brilliant strategist, visionary and expert in all things aviation. As our friend, he was all of that and so much more.”

A passionate aviator, Pino owned the P-51 Mustang Warbird "Big Beautiful Doll."

Pino was president of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. from 2006 to 2012. Prior to joining Sikorsky, Pino spent 17 years with Bell Helicopter. He was a retired Master Army Aviator and served in U.S. Army active, Reserve and National Guard assignments for 26 years. He was a certified airplane and helicopter flight instructor and was known as an accomplished aerobatic and air show performer.

Tramontano had over 26,000 flight hours, and was retired after having worked for FedEx. He owned multiple vintage aircraft.

Nick Tramontano was an accomplished aviator and longtime friend of Pino. Tramontano Family Photo

The last venture in which Pino was involved, XTI Aircraft, is a privately owned aviation company that seeks to develop a ducted fan vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, called the TriFan 600, for the commercial market. 

“Jeff loved flying and he was genuinely excited about what the TriFan 600 will mean to the future of flight,” Brody stated. “As a man with big ideas, and even bigger dreams, Jeff was committed to bringing the TriFan 600 to market, and now, more than ever, so are we. Inspired by Jeff’s leadership and legacy, our team fully intends to do just that.”