2019 Fall Issue

The Magazine of Helicopter Association International

About This Issue
ROTOR Staff 2019 Fall

On the cover: Writer/photographer Mark Bennett photographed the Cirque Lodge EC130, piloted by Matt Hewlett, over the countryside near Orem, Utah. A substance abuse treatment center, Cirque Lodge uses helicopter rides as a tool to encourage its residents to begin recovery. Read more about how a helicopter ride can save a life in "One Flight at a Time."

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Mil2Civ Transition: Start NOW
Stacy Sheard 2019 Fall

Mil2Civ workshop at Expo a must for military aviators.

In an effort to assist military pilots and maintenance technicians who may be thinking about transitioning into a civil aviation career, I offer a bit of guidance. Attend helicopter industry meetings starting now, even if your retirement or ETS is years away. Learn about the important ways in which civil aviation regulations and culture differ from the military’s. Most important, network, network, network.

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Read the Media Coverage of Our Industry Lately? You Should.
Matt Zuccaro 2019 Fall

I think we all realize that our industry’s public image is slanted more toward the negative than the positive.

Preliminary research at HAI reveals that roughly 80% of media coverage that mentions helicopters is negative. Yes, I said 80%. It appears that missions such as firefighting, law enforcement, air ambulance, and maintaining the national power grid only appear in about 1 in 5 media stories. What we do best would appear to not be of high interest to the media.

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Make This Election Work for You
Cade Clark 2019 Fall

Engaging with candidates builds relationships that matter.

Ah, campaign season in America—isn’t it grand? With the amount of media and attention focused on the November 2020 elections, you may be excused for thinking the presidential elections were right around the corner. Although watching other recent international elections shows that it isn’t just America that enjoys a good campaign season with exciting political results.

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HAI Hires Crosby-Volmer International Communications
ROTOR Staff 2019 Fall

Because of an increase in the scope of communications work affecting HAI and its members, the association has engaged Crosby~Volmer International Communications to provide guidance and assistance with public relations and communications efforts.

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Siller Helicopters CH54-A
ROTOR Staff 2019 Fall

Helicopter folks love to see photos of aircraft. And, judging from the number of likes generated, they REALLY love to see photos of red helicopters. So it's no wonder that Barton Dorman's photo of a Siller Helicopters CH54-A Sikorsky Skycrane was one of our most popular recent Instagram posts.

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Annual Aerial Firefighting Safety Conference Concludes in Boise, Idaho
ROTOR Staff 2019 Fall

HAI recently completed the annual AeriaL Firefighting Safety Conference, putting a wrap on what has traditionally been the end of the fire season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Over 250 people registered for the two-day event in Boise, Idaho, representing nearly 150 companies, organizations, associations, and agencies involved in aerial firefighting, making it one of the largest such events yet. Representatives of 23 companies associated with the firefighting sector also exhibited at the conference.

“While we didn’t have any vital issues to address this year, it was still a very good conference,” says HAI Vice President of Operations Chris Martino. “Many of these people are competitors in the field, but this event brings them all together for the common goal of safety. They take significant interest in flying safely and professionally, collaborating on best practices, and the opportunity to network away from the fire lines.”

Day 1 of the event began with a meeting of HAI’s Aerial Firefighting and Natural Resources Working Group, led by Chairman Brian Beattie of Croman Corp. This was followed by safety briefings by Keith Raley of the US Department of the Interior (DoI) and Eric Shambora and Michael Reid from the US Forest Service (USFS).

After lunch, Vince Welbaum, representing the state of Colorado, held a presentation on the use of night-vision goggles (NVG) in aerial firefighting. John Shea, HAI’s director of government affairs, then spoke on how legislation can affect safety. Michael O’Shea of the FAA made the final presentation of the afternoon, speaking on unmanned aircraft systems.

On the second day of the conference, the USFS and DoI held their semiannual aerial firefighting interagency meeting and briefing. This twice-yearly event is also held at HAI HELI-EXPO®. Both events provide a forum where helicopter operators and other contractors can meet face-to-face with government officials to discuss safety, contracting questions, and other issues facing the firefighting community.

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Mars Helicopter Coming to HAI HELI-EXPO
ROTOR Staff 2019 Fall

HAI HELI-EXPO® has long been a platform for the debut of new aircraft and new technology, but a special presentation at the 2020 show in Anaheim is sure to be out of this world.

Through the efforts of NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the NASA Mars Helicopter is going to make a special appearance at HAI HELI-EXPO in advance of its July 2020 mission to explore Earth’s next-door neighbor. The NASA Mars 2020 mission will carry the one-of-a-kind aircraft, designed specifically for flight in the special conditions posed by the Martian environment.

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