SANDPOINT — Samuel D. “Sam” Hill is planning to retire as chief executive officer of Quest Aircraft Company after the first of the year.
The timing of the move has been long planned as part of Quest’s overall strategic plan and a search for a successor is underway. Hill will remain as an advisor to the company and a member of the board of directors.
“This is a good time for me to step aside,” said Hill. “The company is in good shape financially and demand for the Kodiak has grown significantly since 2013. We have a strong leadership team and a solid dealer network that represents us around the world.”
Hill joined Quest in late 2012, replacing then-Chairman of the Board Dave Vander Griend, who was serving as interim CEO. Hill had retired from Honda Aircraft Company earlier that year. At the time, Hill had planned to transition out of the company at the end of 2014, but as Quest continued to grow and demand for the Kodiak increased, the board asked him to stay on.
During his tenure, Hill oversaw key product enhancements and certifications, a steady increase in production, operational improvements and other initiatives, all contributing to the financial stability of the company. Hill is a seasoned aviation veteran with 50 years of experience. He has overseen numerous programs and business development activities, including 10 years with Embraer Aircraft Corporation in several key leadership positions, including President and Vice Chairman. He was responsible for starting Embraer’s Corporate Aircraft Division and launching the Legacy 600, the company’s first executive jet. In addition to serving on Quest’s Board of Directors, Hill will be involved in other entities of Setouchi Holdings, Quest’s parent company.
“Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to work with talented and interesting people who are as passionate about aviation as I am,” added Hill. “I have enjoyed every chapter of my career and leading Quest for several years was one of the highlights. I know the company will continue to thrive.”
Quest’s long term corporate strategy is focused on global development and growth. Since 2012, Kodiak deliveries have risen steadily and the aircraft has received 23 certifications covering 33 countries. In June, the Phase I expansion at the company’s Sandpoint headquarters was completed, adding 27,000 square feet and bringing the current building to 110,000 square feet. As part of Phase II, a 5,000 square foot R & D hangar facility was finished, and includes new office space and an upgraded hangar work space. Quest continues to develop its property in Sandpoint and plans for further expansion are underway.
Quest Aircraft Company is the manufacturer of the Kodiak, a 10-place single engine turboprop airplane, designed for STOL use and float capability. Headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, the company was established in 2001 and began deliveries of the Kodiak in December 2007.