Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, honored Air Methods founder Roy Morgan with the first Bell Helicopter Vertical Flight Hall of Fame award at the 10th annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards in Beverly Hills on January 18. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the rotorcraft industry.
“To be honored with the Bell Helicopter Vertical Flight Hall of Fame award is truly a humbling experience,” says Roy Morgan, founder of Air Methods. “In my life, I have had so many wonderful experiences with aviators, airplanes, sailplanes and helicopters. But, nothing even comes close to the rewards of flying a medical helicopter. Seeing patients going home from the hospital with their families is rewarding beyond words.”
Morgan is one of the founders of Air Methods Corporation, the largest provider of air medical emergency transport services in the nation. Since the company’s inception in 1980, Morgan has served in various roles including president, chief executive officer and director until his semi-retirement in 1991. Today, Air Methods’ more than 4,000 employees operate a fleet of 400 medical helicopters and 20 medical airplanes for their life-saving missions.
Morgan has logged more than 19,000 flight hours in airplanes, helicopters and other aircraft. Dedicated to the aviation field for over 55 years, Morgan continues to share his passion and expertise as a consultant and helping with the development of medical flight programs around the world.
John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter, presented Morgan with the Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award statuette. John Travolta, the “Official Ambassador of Aviation” and host of the Living Legends of Aviation Awards, presented Morgan with a gift of a Breitling watch.
“Roy Morgan is a champion for the world of aviation,” says John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. “We recognize his commitment to the rotorcraft industry as the founder of one of the largest providers of air medical emergency transport services in the world. We appreciate Mr. Morgan’s tireless efforts in creating a successful organization dedicated to safe and efficient air medical care.”
The Living Legends of Aviation Awards were held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Living Legends include Buzz Aldrin, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoover, Kurt Russell and Sully Sullenberger. Bell Helicopter is a platinum sponsor of the annual event.
Aspen Avionics President and CEO Honored as Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year
John Uczekaj, president and CEO of Aspen Avionics, has been awarded Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year by Living Legends of Aviation at its star-studded gala on Friday, January 18, 2013. Uczekaj was selected for this prestigious award to acknowledge his leadership in guiding Aspen Avionics from a brand new startup operation through developing the company into an avionics industry leader, all the while securing ongoing investments to fund new products.
Uczekaj has served the industry in many roles, including board member for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, member of the Strategic Outlook Committee of the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), founder and board member of the New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Association, and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Engineers of the College of Engineering at Oregon State University. Uczekaj is also an active instrument rated private pilot and flies a Diamond DA40.
Additionally, under Uczekaj’s leadership, Aspen Avionics has earned many local and industry accolades. Aspen was named AEA’s Associate Member of the Year, received the Editor’s Choice Award from both Flying Magazine and Rotor & Wing magazine for its Evolution Flight Display System, and was recognized as a Red Herring North America Top 100 company. Local recognition of Aspen includes being named one of New Mexico’s Flying 40 for the last four years, a selection of the top forty revenue-generating technology companies in the state of New Mexico, for which Aspen was specifically recognized as having the highest revenue growth. Uczekaj has also been recognized by New Mexico Business Weekly’s annual Who’s Who in Technology award.
Uczekaj has more than 30 years of experience in the avionics industry, starting out as an engineer at Boeing and moving into key management positions at Sperry and Honeywell. At Honeywell, Uczekaj rose through the engineering ranks to become vice president of Development Engineering, and later led Sales and Marketing for the Commercial Avionics Systems division. In 2001, Uczekaj was made executive VP and general manager of Honeywell’s Aerospace Electronics Systems division, including the Bendix/King line of General Aviation avionics. Immediately prior to joining Aspen, Uczekaj was president and COO of The NORDAM Group, an aviation parts manufacturer and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company.
Uczekaj continues, “I came to Aspen six years ago for the opportunity to build the next major player in the avionics industry. The company’s entrepreneurial spirit is key to that success and it is what keeps us innovating and moving forward. Every day I focus on keeping that spirit alive at Aspen.”