HFI: Educating helicopter professionals and preserving helicopter history

HFI: Educating helicopter professionals and preserving helicopter history

9-Mar-2011 Source: HFI

A visit to Helicopter Foundation International’s (HFI) booth, #2206, at HELI-EXPO® is a great way to learn about the helicopter industry’s past and how the organization helps to educate present and future generations of helicopter professionals. HELI-EXPO® opened on March 5 and runs through March 8. Once again the event is well attended, and there have been many visitors to the HFI booth—located at the HAI booth, near the main entrance into the Exhibition Hall.

Founded in 1983, HFI is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of the helicopter industry’s service to mankind, educating both present and future generations of helicopter professionals, and to promoting the international helicopter industry as an exciting career choice for young people.

HFI has long recognized the need for qualified commercial helicopter pilots and helicopter maintenance technicians. Over the last several years, the shortage has become real. Many experienced pilots and maintenance technicians are nearing retirement age, while overseas conflicts have pulled experienced personnel from our ranks at a time when the helicopter industry is enjoying growth due, in part, to the wide recognition of the tremendous versatility of this phenomenal machine.

As the aircraft industry enters into significantly more sophisticated endeavors, the requirement for highly skilled pilots and maintenance technicians becomes more critical. HFI offers an array of scholarships to answer the need for qualified helicopter pilots, maintenance technicians and professionals in the safety field.

In addition to scholarships, HFI provides a number of services including pilot, maintenance and industry outreach to students seeking a career in the international helicopter community. HFI also performs various community outreach programs. These efforts attract students from high schools, colleges and trade schools to the civil helicopter industry, and also better acquaint the community with the opportunities in our industry and the benefits afforded by vertical flight. HFI also participates in regional career fairs, distributing informational materials and answering questions from students.

HFI catalogs a vast collection of helicopter models, artifacts, memorabilia, photographs, documents and other articles that chronicle the history and development of the industry. These, and recorded interviews with helicopter industry pioneers, will form part of the online virtual museum the organization is building.

Each year at HELI-EXPO®, HFI holds its Annual Scholarship Fundraising Golf Tournament. This year’s event was held on Friday, March 4, at the Grande Pines Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. Under the leadership and coordination of Art Ashton, an avid golfer who serves as HAI’s Vice Chairman of the Board, this year’s tournament was a great success. Ashton collected sponsorships, filled player signup spaces and ensured that everyone had a great time.

Participation and sponsorship in the tournament provided an opportunity for industry organizations and professionals to help deserving students who might otherwise be unable to realize their dream of a rewarding career in aviation. All proceeds from sponsorships and player signups through the HFI Scholarship Fundraising Golf Tournament were directed to the HFI Scholarship Fund.

HFI encourages its friends and colleagues in the helicopter community to join them in supporting this worthwhile cause. HFI’s Vice President/Curator, Martin Pociask, commented “Make a difference in someone’s life by making a tax-deductible contribution to the HFI Scholarship Fund.”

Send your contribution to: Helicopter Foundation International, 1635 Prince Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314-2898. Visit our Web site atwww.helicopterfoundation.org or call: Martin J. “Marty” Pociask at 703-360-1521. Fax: 703-683-4646

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