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HAI announced that Bryan Smith, pilot for the Seminole County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office and safety program manager for the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA), is the 2017 winner of HAI's Salute to Excellence BLR Aerospace Safety Award. This award honors those who have excelled in promoting safety in the helicopter industry. In addition, the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence Leonardo Humanitarian Service Award. The awards will be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards dinner at HAI HELI-EXPO 2017.

HAI’s Salute to Excellence BLR Aerospace Safety Award

Smith has dedicated countless hours to developing and advocating safety solutions for pilots and operators worldwide. A pilot since 1992, he flies helicopters for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, where he serves as safety officer and instructor pilot. He has flown both fixed and rotary-winged aircraft in law enforcement aviation for 11 years and has been a regular instructor at aviation events around the world for the last eight years.

Smith is also the ALEA safety program manager and works on the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST), where he has chaired the Safety Management System (SMS) Working Group and served on the Flight Training Working Group. He works as an instructor in aviation safety and SMS, law enforcement tactics, flight training, accident response planning and unit management and marketing strategies.

Bryan Smith

Since 2012, Smith has supported ALEA members’ safety management and program development efforts, safety outreach and education, and development of risk management tools and resources. He has also acted as liaison with other aviation safety organizations.

As chair of the USHST SMS Working Group, Smith led a volunteer team of industry experts to help cut worldwide accident rates and implement SMS. He continues to be an active contributor to this team and has published numerous articles in industry trade publications, most notably the “Real World SMS” series in ROTOR magazine, as well as Law Officer, Vertical 911 and ALEA’s Air Beat Magazine. He also gives regular safety presentations and leads safety courses around the world.

HAI’s Salute to Excellence Leonardo Humanitarian Service Award

The Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard has provided an invaluable service far past its shores for the benefit of those in other Caribbean nations. Operating both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard has accomplished tremendous achievements since its founding in 2005. The Air Guard is looked upon by Caribbean Community nations with admiration and support for the humanitarian services it provides in response to natural disasters, medical emergencies and security threats.

The Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard operates two Metro Merlin C-26B fixed-wing and four AW139 helicopters, and has expanded its capabilities and its achievements in the decade since it was formed out of the Coast Guard Air Wing. The unit has rescued lost hikers, airlifted victims of shark attacks and injured sailors, fought and extinguished threatening bush fires, helped vessels in distress, evacuated stranded individuals from otherwise inaccessible land and conducted medical evacuations from vessels at sea.

The Air Guard is regularly deployed to perform complex missions both at home and in the wider Caribbean region. It has provided support to St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Dominica during floods and natural disasters and on a regular basis transports critically ill and injured patients from the island of Tobago to the hospital in Trinidad. The Air Guard’s mission scope exceeds that of larger countries and those with much greater resources.

The awards will be presented at the annual Salute to Excellence Awards dinner during HAI HELI-EXPO 2017. HAI HELI-EXPO®, the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exhibition, will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, March 6–9, with the exhibit hall open March 7–9. For more information on HAI HELI-EXPO 2017, visit

Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard


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