Helicopter Association International Opens ‘2022 Salute to Excellence’ Nomination Period

HAI announces it is now accepting nominations for its annual Salute to Excellence Awards program. These awards recognize superior achievement across the rotorcraft industry and are open to individuals, teams or organizations who work with helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft systems (drones or UAS). Nominations can be submitted at rotor.org/salute. HAI must receive all nominations by Thurs., Sept. 30, 2021.

HAI also announces the addition of the Matthew S. Zuccaro Land & LIVE Award to the Salute to Excellence Awards lineup, beginning in 2022. The new award honors the former HAI president and CEO, who died in February 2020, for his steadfast advocacy for rotorcraft safety. After growing frustrated with the number of preventable helicopter accidents, Zuccaro challenged the industry to take advantage of the helicopter’s ability to land almost anywhere and utilize precautionary landings when flight conditions deteriorated. He sent a clear message that helicopter crews would never forget with his now-famous quote, “Flight not going well? When safety is at stake, land the damn helicopter!”

The new award recognizes outstanding aeronautical decision-making (ADM), crew resource management (CRM), or coordinated actions performed by a helicopter pilot(s), flight crew member(s), or maintenance personnel during the year. Depending on nominations received, the Matthew S. Zuccaro Land & LIVE Award may be presented to three recipients each year: one each for pilots, flight crews and maintenance personnel.

The Salute to Excellence award categories include:

  • Matthew S. Zuccaro Land & LIVE Award
  • Excellence in Communications, sponsored by Lightspeed Communications
  • W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award, sponsored by Hill Air, Corp.
  • Maintenance Excellence, sponsored by Rolls-Royce
  • Law Enforcement Award, sponsored by MD Helicopters
  • Golden Hour Award
  • Safety Award, sponsored by BLR Aerospace
  • Humanitarian Service Award
  • Pilot of the Year, sponsored by Appareo
  • Lifetime Achievement, sponsored by Bell.

To submit a nomination for the 2022 HAI Salute to Excellence Awards, go to rotor.org/salute and nominate an exceptional individual or organization. Award descriptions and criteria are available on the website, as well as additional information about the awards process. Anyone may submit a nomination, and anyone may be nominated. HAI membership is not required.

To produce a nomination package with the best chances of success, HAI strongly recommends that nominators explain how the work of the individual, team or organization demonstrated the highest level of professionalism or contributed to the industry. It’s not enough to simply say, “This person is great and deserves an award.” Winning nominations must make a solid, supported case for the nominee’s selection as the outstanding entrant in the chosen category. To give your nominee the best chance of selection, tell us their story and back it up with supporting material, such as letters of recommendation, news stories, video clips, etc. Use the nomination narrative as an opportunity to illustrate your nominee’s passion for their job and the industry; tell us HOW they did their job so well and WHY that was important to their colleagues, their customers or the industry at large.

The Salute to Excellence winners will be honored at HAI HELI-EXPO 2022 in Dallas, Mar. 7–10, with exhibits open March 8–10.