Above: A would-be pilot tests his skills on a virtual-reality simulator in the Rotor Safety Zone at HAI HELI-EXPO 2022. (HAI/f-stop Photography)

In May 1960, Jim Ricklefs, a founding member of HAI and the association’s first president, proposed that the organization’s members be polled to determine their preferences for convention programs. Results of the survey indicated that the members of the association, then known as the Helicopter Association of America, clearly wanted more forums on maintenance, piloting, insurance, accident analysis, and construction. Respondents were less enthusiastic about convention programs involving financial tutoring, nationally known speakers, and civil defense.

To meet those members’ requests, HAI WAS THERE over the years with dozens of new and improved educational and safety offerings at the annual convention and exhibition, known today as HAI HELI-EXPO®. With safety the cornerstone of HAI’s efforts to support vertical aviation, the association offers the Rotor Safety Challenge and the Rotor Safety Zone, as well as more than 30 Professional Education Courses, at every Expo. Classes cover aviation maintenance and safety, flight instruction, pilot training, accident prevention and investigation, and more.

This year, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of HAI, formed on Dec. 13, 1948.

Countdown to HAI’s 75th: 40 days!

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