HAI is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 ROTOR Magazine Photo Contest. Now in its ninth year, the contest encourages photographers from around the world to submit their images of helicopters and drones in a variety of categories that represent the rotorcraft industry. And this year’s top entries truly reflect the industry’s international breadth, with our winners hailing from no fewer than five countries.
For 2021, we added the category “Helping Hands and Helicopters during COVID-19” in recognition of the significant impact the pandemic has had on our industry’s operations.
In addition to receiving cash prizes, the winning photographers will have their images displayed at HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mar. 22–25. The winning photos will also be published in the March 2021 issue of ROTOR. “Our Photo Contest entries this year once again portrayed the essential work the rotorcraft industry performs,” says James Viola, HAI president and CEO. “These images, submitted by photographers from around the world, show us and our aircraft saving lives, serving our countries, keeping the lights on, fighting fires, and celebrating a 50-year marriage—and that’s just in the six winning photos.”
- Grand Prize Winner: Mark Mennie, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Category Winner – Helicopters/Drones at Work: Julien Botella, Le Tholonet, France
- Category Winner – Helicopters/Drones in the Military: Carsten Vennemann, Stuttgart, Germany
- Category Winner – People and Their Helicopters/Drones: Marilyn Grubb, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
- Category Winner – Helicopter/Drone Digitally Enhanced Photos: Creigh McIntyre (Creigh Photography), San Diego, California, USA
- Category Winner – Helping Hands and Helicopters during COVID-19: Sylwia Tylkowska, Zawiercie, Poland
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone who submitted a photo to this year’s contest. Please plan to participate in the 2022 ROTOR Magazine Photo Contest by submitting your entries at beginning Aug. 2, 2021.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Aviation photographer Mark Mennie took this year’s Grand Prize in the 2021 ROTOR Magazine Photo Contest. Mennie shot the photo (above) under medical direction in April 2020 to illustrate the new standards for personal protective equipment (PPE) that had been recently implemented to safely transport critically ill patients with COVID-19. His photo reminds us of a grim year—but also to be proud of our everyday heroes.
HELICOPTERS/DRONES AT WORK
Le Tholonet, France
Professional photographer Julien Botella captured this heavy-lift Eurocopter AS332—and a crew of linemen—at work performing cable repairs for Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE), which owns and operates the French high-voltage transmission system. The Super Puma is operated by Services et Travaux Héliportés (STH), an RTE division that provides helicopter services to assist the company in building and maintaining its electrical grid. In addition to documenting the role of helicopters in electricity production and transmission, Botella’s perfectly composed shot highlights the delicate coordination necessary to conduct safe human external cargo operations.
HELICOPTERS/DRONES IN THE MILITARY
The winning photo in the Helicopter/Drones in the Military category shows two US Marine Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallions taking off after delivering a contingent of British Royal Marines to a landing zone during the 2016 Exercise Cold Response in Norway. The military exercises bring together NATO troops to train for harsh-weather operations. In Carsten Vennemann’s winning photo, the activity of the swirling snow and departing aircraft frames the troops who will remain behind.
PEOPLE AND THEIR HELICOPTERS/DRONES
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
On the way home from a helicopter ride in the Canadian Rockies to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, their pilot landed on a dry riverbed so Marilyn Grubb and her husband could share a champagne toast. But Marilyn took away more than just memories from that special day. An avid photographer, she says, “When I saw the reflection of the helicopter, a Robinson R44, and my husband in the water, I captured it!” Her spur-of-the-moment photo of her husband took top honors in our People and Their Helicopters/Drones category. Lucky him, lucky her, lucky us.
HELICOPTER/DRONE DIGITALLY ENHANCED PHOTO
Creigh McIntyre (Creigh Photography)
San Diego, California, USA
Photographer Creigh McIntyre created this beautiful-scary composite image that took top honors in the Digitally Enhanced category. McIntyre’s photo positions a gleaming Sikorsky S-70i Firehawk, taken at the San Diego Fire Department’s base at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (KMYF), against the ominous background of California’s Valley Fire, which killed four people and burned more than 76,000 acres in 2015.
HELPING HANDS AND HELICOPTERS DURING COVID-19
For this new category, Helping Hands and Helicopters during COVID-19, we wanted to document how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting those in the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) industry, including our many frontline workers. Aviation photographer Sylwia Tylkowska captured this dramatic shot of a patient transfer in Zawiercie, Poland, in April 2020—back when terms like “PPE” and “social distance” were just becoming part of our everyday vocabulary.
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