Dr John Hajjar brings health and hope worldwide

Jerry Innella is the PIC who flies with his son as co-captain and wife as flight attendant in the doctor's Falcon 900.

MMB Management Advisory Services father and son flightcrew aboard the company's Dassault Falcon 900. At left is Chief Pilot and Capt Jerry Innella and at right his son, Capt Jerry Innella.

Today Dr Hajjar's flight department operates under the banner of MMB Management Advisory Services, a real estate company that owns surgery centers, oncology centers, and radiation centers, as well as supporting businesses including warehousing and transportation services. The aircraft itself is owned by MMB Aircraft Leasing.

MMB represents the initials of the first names of Dr Hajjar's 3 sons, Marc, Michael and Brian.

Sovereign Health Systems

Dr Hajjar retired from his medical practice in 2014 and became a full-time business executive. To celebrate the retirement, Jerry, Jerry and Betty Innella took the doctor and his wife on a round-the-world trip in the 900. Today Dr Hajjar devotes all of his professional energies to the growth of Sovereign Health Systems, his fully integrated health care operation providing clinical services including urgent care, outpatient surgical care, cancer treatment, primary care, and specialty care in a variety of areas.

"Business aviation has played a critical role in the growth and overall success of my business," Dr Hajjar says. "I rely on my airplane and the professionals that staff it, both in the cockpit and in the cabin. They are like an extended part of my family."
As a measure of how successful Dr Hajjar has been as a businessman, Ernst and Young named him Entrepreneur of Year in the Health Systems category in 2014.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Dr Hajjar and his wife Sharon are active philanthropists who support numerous healthcare, educational, and other charities, institutions, and initiatives. The aircraft plays a key role in supporting these activities as well.

Typical trips for Dr Hajjar begin at the Meridian FBO at TEB (Teterboro NJ), with BCT (Boca Raton FL) being the most frequent destination as it is close to his Florida surgery centers. Destinations throughout the US and Europe are not uncommon.

MMB Management Advisory Services cabin crew members include Cabin Service Representatives Betty Innella, Alex Innella and Kathleen Innella. One of the 3 CSRs is aboard every flight.

Additionally, about 2 years ago, MMB began chartering the Falcon 900. For charter operations, trips departing from TEB typically begin at the Signature FBO. Other typical charter starting points are PHI (Philadelphia PA), HPN or ABE.

For many years Innella kept the Falcon 20 based at TEB close to Dr Hajjar's offices, but a few years back he relocated the aircraft to ABE near the New Jersey border. "It's so much cheaper to hangar it there," explains Innella. "I can make 4 or 5 trips between ABE and TEB for what I save in hangar rent."

The Falcon 900 is based at New World Aviation at ABE. New World has a fueling contract with Signature, prompting MMB to use their FBOs and acquire fuel there when possible. When there is no Signature FBO on the field, fuel is purchased through Avfuel, Universal, or other locations where MMB has contracts. New World also administers the department's Safety Management System.

Innellas in the cockpit

The Innellas serve as co-captains, with 1 taking the left seat for a full day, then swapping places on the following day. Innella Sr manages the airplane and flight operation and handles administrative tasks, while the younger Innella writes manuals and checklists requiring FAA approval, as well as keeping up to date with Wyvern and ARGUS, both of which list MMB as a top-rated operation. Innella Jr also keeps the department's iPads current.

The cabin is still staffed by Betty Innella, now augmented by her daughter-in-law Kathleen her granddaughter, Alex. The 3 take turns, with 1 cabin service representative staffing every flight.

Pilot training and aircraft mx

Flight training is handled through FlightSafety International, usually at the Wilmington DE facility, which has a Falcon 900 simulator. The department uses Computer Training Systems (CTS) On Line training to augment the FSI program, with each pilot taking an online course every quarter. "We each average 40 to 50 hours annually," notes Innella Sr. Training is also augmented through Inflight Training Solutions, which provides flight attendant training and dunker training at a local hotel for all flight personnel.

Primary maintenance is handled by New World Aviation, which recently installed wifi and a new phone system in the 900. Heavier maintenance is usually handled by Dassault's facility in Wilmington, where an extensive pre-buy inspection was done on the airplane before MMB closed the sale. The company also uses Phoenix Rising, a small Falcon-only maintenance shop in Bartlesville OK.

The Falcon 900 is on Honeywell's MSP program for its Garrett TFE-731 engines. The aircraft is also protected by Honeywell's HAPP program for the avionics, which Innella says the manufacturer is still supporting very well.

MMB's Falcon 900 flew approximately 300 hours last year, a little more than the 250 it had averaged in prior years. Among its flight activity last year were 5 trips to Puerto Rico to support recovery activity in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

MMB Aviation is an excellent example of a small flight department serving the needs of its owner along with charter customers who benefit from its availability. Jerry Innella Sr's experience in creating a new flight department around the needs of a former charter customer presents an excellent example of how energy and creativity can combine to make a second career for aviators looking for a new opportunity.

Mike Potts is senior editorial contributor for Professional Pilot. He was in corporate communications for Beech and Raytheon Aircraft between 1979 and 1997.



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