posted on March 21, 2013 15:44
Alexandria, Va. - HELI-EXPO 2013 in Las Vegas was a great show, and Helicopter Foundation International had a marked presence. HFI’s fourth annual Scholarship Fundraising Golf Tournament featured 15 sponsoring companies and a record 144 registered players. Donating companies and individuals stepped up to help a very worthy cause. All tournament proceeds will be directed to the scholarship fund, which helps aspiring students to become qualified helicopter pilots and maintenance technicians, and helps provide further training for safety managers and other professionals in the safety field.
The setting was the beautiful Desert Pines Golf Club with the Las Vegas skyline as a backdrop. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a United Technology Company, was the tournament sponsor. The day was punctuated by competition and camaraderie, as players tested their skills on the challenging course.
Everyone had a great time and at the tournament conclusion, a delicious barbeque dinner sponsored by Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company, was enjoyed by all. HAI Chairman Chris Erickson and President Matt Zuccaro were on hand to thank the sponsors and players for their support of HFI. Drawings and prizes closed out the event.
The HFI Silent Auction was also very successful. Hundreds of interested visitors arrived at the HFI booth, site of the auction, to view the items on display. Many attendees registered in hopes of walking away with one or more of the exciting 51 items up for bid. Some of the more notable donations included a Sikorsky S-76 Initial Training, donated by CAE SimuFlite. A real bargain valued at $33,500 that went to one lucky bidder for $13,000! Also claimed was an AMS-44 Dual Channel Audio Controller valued at $4,313, donated by AEM Anodyne that sold for $1,300. There were several tours including a 30 minute New York City helicopter tour for two donated by Wings Air. That bid was won by HAI Treasurer Gale Wilson. Two headsets were available; one a Zulu.2 headset from Lightspeed, and the other a headset Model H10-13H from the David Clark Company. Also claimed was a U.S. flag flown over Afghanistan, donated by Columbia helicopters. There were trainings, getaways, helicopter models, bomber jackets, golf items, hotel stays, artwork, and much, much more. For those who missed participating in this year’s auction, there will be another opportunity at HELI-EXPO 2014 in Anaheim, Calif.
On Tuesday, March 5, HFI sponsored Pilot, Industry Outreach to Students, and Maintenance mentoring panels. The panels consisted of highly experienced industry professionals representing the commercial, corporate, and governmental segments of the industry. The Pilot mentoring panel was chaired by Tony Burson, the Industry Outreach to Students panel was chaired by Patrick Corr, and the Maintenance mentoring panel was chaired by Ed Newton. Panel members donated their time to offer advice, provide information, and answer questions posed by students. Many panel attendees and job seekers also attended HAI’s annual Job Fair.
HFI was once again was pleased to welcome a large group of students to HELI-EXPO. Students from a number of colleges and flight schools attended HAI’s Annual General Membership Meeting and Breakfast, the mentoring panels, and toured the exhibit hall. There were large contingents from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of North Dakota, Bristow Academy, Guidance Aviation, and Rancho High School Academy of Aviation, a local magnet school affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
This year HFI’s Heritage of Helicopters Display showcased two wonderful Vietnam-era Bell aircraft models. One was a Bell UH-1H (Huey), courtesy of American Huey 369, located in Peru, Indiana. Also displayed was a Bell AH-1 Cobra, courtesy of Cactus Air Force Wings & Wheels Museum, located in Carson City, Nevada. Both organizations are 501(c) 3 non-profits, and both flew their helicopters to the convention center. If you missed it, be sure to visit next year’s display of vintage helicopters in Anaheim.
Beginning June 1, 2013, HFI will once again begin accepting applications for its 2014 scholarship offerings. Over the last four years, HFI has awarded 58 scholarships. If you know any deserving student who meets the posted requirements on the HAI (www.rotor.com) and HFI (www.helicopterfoundation.org) websites, please encourage them to submit their applications.
HFI is a 501 (c) 3 organization. If you would like to support HFI’s mission to help educate the next generation of pilots and maintenance professionals, and preserve helicopter history, you can do so through a donation. All donations made, either as an item or a monetary contribution are welcomed, and tax deductible as far as federal law permits. HFI staff will follow up and ensure that you receive a receipt. To donate, contact Martin Pociask, HFI vice president/curator, at 703-683-4646 ext. 8465, or via email at email@example.com
HFI wishes to thank everyone who attended the Las Vegas show. We look forward to seeing you at HELI-EXPO 2014 in Anaheim!