Nominations Now Open for 2022 HAI Salute to Excellence Awards

Helicopter Association International (HAI) announces that nominations for its 2022 HAI Salute to Excellence Awards is now open. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in all forms of vertical aviation, including unmanned aircraft systems (UASs or drones), for pilots, mechanics, engineers, CFIs or other vertical aviation professionals.

HAI is debuting the Matthew S. Zuccaro Land & LIVE Award beginning in 2022. The new award will join the Salute to Excellence Awards lineup to honor the late former HAI president and CEO who died in February 2020. After growing frustrated with the growing number of preventable helicopter accidents, Zuccaro wanted to send a clear message that helicopter crews would never forget, emphasizing 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), and/or coordinated actions performed by a helicopter pilots, flight crew members and/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.

To submit a nomination for the 2022 HAI Salute to Excellence Awards, go to and nominate an exceptional individual or organization. Anyone may submit a nomination, and anyone may be nominated. HAI membership is not required.

HAI strongly recommends that individuals think through nominations thoroughly. It is not enough to say, “This person is great and deserves an award.” Winning nominations must make the case for the nominee’s selection as the outstanding entrant of the year in the chosen category. To give a nominee the best chance of selection, tell HAI their story and back it up with supporting material. Use the opportunity to illustrate the nominee’s passion for their job and the industry. Tell HOW they did their job so well and WHY that was important to their colleagues, their customers or the industry at large.

The deadline to submit 2022 Salute to Excellence Awards nominations is Thurs., Sept. 30, 2021.