7 JUN 2010- Dallas, TX
International pioneer helicopter pilot organization, Twirly Birds (TB), held their annual meeting in conjunction with the HAI Heli-Expo this year in Houston, Texas and the event saw a record number of members in attendance with almost 40 new members joining the group. Outgoing longtime President, Mr. Jim Hamilton, conducted the meeting before a group of over 150 members and associate members.
During the meeting, Hamilton nominated Mr. Steve Sullivan as the group’s President and he was unanimously approved by the membership. Sullivan began his flying career in 1966 where he soloed at Ft. Wolters, Texas, is a former Vietnam combat helicopter pilot, and is the founder of Aris Helicopters. Aris grew from a single helicopter operation to a fleet of over twenty aircraft based in northern California, providing comprehensive helicopter flight training, energy exploration, logging, aerial patrol, fire fighting, SAR, and external load operations. The company was sold by Sullivan in 2007. Mr. Sullivan is an HAI Board Member and past President. Steve and Nancy Sullivan reside in northern California.
Additionally, TB Treasurer, Mr. Bill Yarber will relinquish his duties to Mr. Barry Desfor after many years of service to the pilot organization. Yarber will now assume the duties of Twirly Bird historian and will continue documenting the rich history of the pilot group.
Desfor, also an industry pioneer, is the founder and Managing Director of Heli-Value$, a used helicopter valuation service. Heli-Value$ purchased The Official Helicopter Blue Book® in 1990. Desfor also began his helicopter flying career in the 1960s and served as a Vietnam combat helicopter pilot as well as civil helicopter pilot after active duty service.
Mr. Jim Kettles will continue as the Twirly Bird Vice President and Membership Chairman. Kettles’ flying career began in the 1970s when he soloed as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot. He later flew and managed helicopters professionally around the U.S., sold new and used helicopters, and is now Director of Sales for Metro Aviation, Inc.
Mr. Roger Gould, also a longtime helicopter pilot, will continue as the Twirly Bird webmaster. Gould was an early Army helicopter pilot after soloing in 1962 he flew two tours in Vietnam during the 1960’s. He retired in 1976 and is a past Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) President as well as one of the 66 founding members.
The Twirly Birds organization wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to both Mr. Jim Hamilton and Mr. Bill Yarber for their many years of tireless volunteer efforts in support of the group. Both Hamilton and Yarber are retired Bell Helicopter Textron employees and both reside in Texas. Bill Yarber will now assume the responsibility as the Twirly Bird historian.
About Twirly Birds Twirly Birds is an international organization founded in 1945 by pioneering pilots of helicopters and other vertical take-off aircraft. The sole purpose of this nonprofit organization of individuals is to recognize and foster the fellowship of those brought together by the common bond of vertical flight and to facilitate the cordial exchange of experience and opinions as the helicopter and other vertical take-off aircraft art progresses. For more information regarding the organization, please visit the Twirly Birds website at www.twirlybirds.org or by contacting Jim Kettles, membership chairman at firstname.lastname@example.org.