International helicopter pilot organization, Twirly Birds, has announced the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Les Morris award as Mr. Roy Morgan, a true helicopter pioneer, industry icon and founder of Air Methods. Morgan began his distinguished aviation career in 1955 after buying a J-3 Cub that included flying lessons, what followed was an incredible journey in the aviation business. He soloed in a Hughes 300 in 1965 and has since logged over twenty thousand hours of flight time in a multitude of fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
With countless achievements, accolades, and awards, Morgan is by any measure someone that put his indelible mark on a fledgling air medical transportation business, after starting Air Methods Corporation as the sole pilot and employee in 1980. Recognizing a need for better equipment, training and oversight, Morgan set out to improve an industry trying to find its footing. Under his nurturing guidance, the company became what is now the largest civil air medical transportation system in the world with operations that also include helicopter flightseeing in the continental United States and Hawaii.
The Les Morris award is presented annually by the Twirly Birds as lifetime achievement recognition to an individual that has made a significant contribution to the helicopter community. Aviation pioneer Les Morris is recognized as an early helicopter test pilot and innovator responsible for the early development and refinement of helicopters while at Sikorsky Aircraft. The award will be presented to Morgan at the Twirly Birds Annual Meeting in conjunction with the HAI HELI-EXPO.