HAI Announces Recipient of the 2006 Aviation Maintenance Technician Award

Alexandria, Va., January 30, 2007 - HAI is proud to announce this year's Aviation Maintenance Technician Award recipient, Mr. Ron Gilroy. As a Maintenance Supervisor for Columbia Helicopters, Gilroy has spent most of the past two decades maintaining large helicopters in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. This location operates half a world away from the main base, requiring Columbia to send their best personnel. Gilroy is recognized for his exceptional organizational skills, which is crucial, considering it can take two weeks for a spare part to be shipped from the U.S.

Gilroy began his career at Columbia as one of twelve mechanics maintaining up to four BV-107 aircraft in Papua New Guinea, which often logged over 1,000 hours each month. The component changes and troubleshooting challenges he faced made him proficient in a variety of aviation specificities.

In 1993, he was assigned to take on the more complex BV-234 Chinook, which included complex electrical systems, four hydraulic systems, and two independent, coupled autopilot systems. Tropical environments create many difficulties to the structure of a helicopter; however, Gilroy keeps the aircraft under his care in excellent condition, with an availability rate being as high as 97 percent.

Gilroy is now Chief Engineer for Columbia Helicopters PNG, and has trained a number of mechanics who have worked there. His supervising responsibilities routinely keep him working fourteen-hour-plus workdays. Gilroy holds many jobs, from engine man, to structures mechanic, to vibration analyst, to manager, and he manages them all with his high energy intact. His proficiency, reliability, and strong work ethic continue to astound the rotorcraft industry.

All winners will be recognized at HELI-EXPO 2007's annual "Salute to Excellence" Awards Celebration on March 2, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. in Orlando, Florida. For more information about the 2007 "Salute to Excellence" Awards Celebration, contact HAI's Communications Department at 703-683-4646, fax: 703-683-4745, or email: rotor@rotor.com. For more information on HELI-EXPO 2007, visit www.heliexpo.com.

HAI is the professional trade association for the international helicopter industry. HAI's 1,350-plus-member organizations and 1,150 individual members, in more than 73 nations, safely operate more than 4,500 helicopters approximately 2.3 million hours each year. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective method of commerce and to the advancement of the international helicopter community.