20-Feb-2012 Source: HFI
Helicopter Foundation International was very busy at HELI-EXPO 2012. The foundation held its annual golf tournament, hosted mentoring panels, and shared a great deal of information with attendees about our mission and goals. New additions to our plans for the show this year were a silent auction, heritage helicopter display and historical interviews.
The third annual Scholarship Fundraising Golf Tournament was the foundationâ€™s most well-attended golf outing to date. Twenty-nine teams totaling 116 participants played on the beautiful Cowboys Golf Course in nearby Grapevine. Sponsors and participants helped raise more than $50,000 for HFIâ€™s scholarship program. A Bell 429 graced the tee box of the 17th hole, reminding players of the versatility and practicality of our industry. Players participated in a putting contest, long drive contest, hole in one contest, and of course aimed for the lowest score.
HFIâ€™s mentoring panels were well attended. Students and those new to the industry were able to attend Pilot, Maintenance, and Industry Outreach to Students panels. All panelists are expert and successful leaders in their fields and were happy to speak with so many eager minds. Immediately following the panels, attendees could make their way to the HAI Job Fair, where they were able to put their newly acquired knowledge to work.
New to this year was a Fundraising Silent Auction, in which HFI documented bids for donated goods. This event was a great success, netting more than $17,000 for HFIâ€™s scholarship and educational programs. HFI looks forward to having even more items for participants to bid on next year!
In one of the most dramatic displays at the show, HFI unveiled its Heritage of Helicopters display and showcased a Bell OH-13, a Huey, and a Mil Mi-24 Hind. Three museums in central and east Texas were kind enough to get their helicopters to the convention center, and each day of the show featured a question and answer session with a representative of each of the museums. The event was capped off with a photo-shoot of the helicopters, attended by active duty military personnel, reservists, and veterans. HFI is looking forward to another great display in Las Vegas in 2013.
HFI was also able to catch up with Hal Symes, an industry pioneer who worked for Bell, Sikorsky, and Evergreen â€“ where he spent a great deal of time with the Skycrane. Symes helped construct the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan; put the antenna on top of the Sears Tower; and even worked locust eradication in Argentina. HFI recorded an interview with Symes on the last day of the show. Look for it in an upcoming issue of ROTORÂ® magazine and on HFI and HAIâ€™s website soon!
To say that HFI was busy this EXPO would be an understatement, but we were able to bring the industryâ€™s past to the present and highlight the importance of rotorcraft to a great number of people. Thanks to everyone who came out, and we look forward to HELI-EXPO 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada!