W.A “Dub” Blessing turned 88 over the weekend. HAI’s Salute to Excellence Flight Instruction award honors his name.

HAI began presenting awards honoring industry excellence at its annual meeting in 1961, and the H. Ross Perot family established the Salute to Excellence award for Flight Instruction in 1985. For many years since, the award has borne the name of W.A. “Dub” Blessing. The Perot family elected to honor Blessing’s skills, unique experiences, and accomplishments by naming the award for him. Blessing served as a pilot to Ross Perot and taught Ross Jr. how to fly helicopters. Blessing’s training ultimately led Ross Jr. to complete an around-the-world helicopter flight in September 1982, flying a Bell 206L-1.