1-Mar-2019 Source: Twirly Birds
International helicopter pilot organization, Twirly Birds, has announced the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Les Morris award as Twirly Bird member, Mr. Gary Young. Young spent over 37 years with Bell Helicopter where he served as pilot, test pilot, instructor pilot, management and an innovative spirit to the company in several roles over his long and successful career. His love of flying began as a young child when his parents brought him to airshows in New Mexico and Texas and later, a flight in 1945 with his uncle in a J-3 Cub cemented his fate. His dream to become a pilot was realized in 1963 when he learned to fly airplanes while a college student at West Texas State University. It was then on to the U.S. Army for infantry training and a commission followed by flight school afterward in 1964 at Ft. Wolters, Texas. A tour in Vietnam came in 1966 with the 121st Aviation Company and after his military service, it was on to Bell Helicopter where he then flew the same aircraft he did in Vietnam right off the assembly line in Texas. Gary Young remains active in the helicopter industry as a presenter at the HAI Helicopter Pilot CFI Refresher Course for over 20 years and their chief instructor for the last 14 years, which is one of his proudest accomplishments in a long list of many industry contributions, awards, and accolades.
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 Mr. Gary Young at the Twirly Birds Annual Meeting in conjunction with the HAI Heli-Expo on 5 MAR beginning at 1700 hours in the Maple Room of the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center.
Twirly Birds was founded over seventy years ago when a small group of pilots met to share stories and the common experiences of flying helicopters during these early years of vertical flight. Among notable past members of Twirly Birds include Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky and Stewart R. Graham, to name a few. The intent was then and is now, to share the common bond of vertical flight. The group has no political or commercial interest and is by design, a social group comprised of individuals. Anyone that has soloed at least twenty years ago is encouraged to join Twirly Birds at their annual meeting in conjunction with the Heli-Expo in Atlanta.