HAI Announces Recipient of the 2006 Aviation Repair Specialist Award

Alexandria, Va., January 22, 2007- HAI is pleased to announce this year’s Aviation Repair Specialist Award recipient, Mr. Richard Wolfgang. Wolfgang has kept complex avionics and electrical systems running in the most rigorous and remote operations. He began his career as a maintenance technician for the United States Marine Corps, where he primarily worked on the CH-46 Sea Knight. Wolfgang joined Columbia Helicopters in 1981 where he is better known among his colleagues as “Cheech.”

Wolfgang began his career with Columbia as an electrician in the Avionics Electric Shop, repairing electrical accessories and assisting in refurbishing Columbia’s fleet of aircraft. He earned his repairman certificate, airframe and power plant certificates, and also became an authorized inspector within Columbia’s repair station. In 1988, Wolfgang became the Lead Mechanic and in 1995 Assistant Shop Chief. He was appointed Avionics Electric Shop Supervisor in 2002, assuming responsibility for avionics installations and avionics electrical accessory repair. He is also responsible for associated fleet support for Columbia’s large number of helicopters.

Wolfgang traveled to Sudan to assist in the company’s famine relief effort. One week before the trip he was faced with the challenge of installing Very Low Frequency (VLF) navigation systems and High Frequency (HF) communication systems into three aircraft. He has made countless trips into the field to resolve electrical problems. Large avionics installations and helicopter support took him across the U.S., Canada, and Panama. Wolfgang also spent a year working as a field electrician in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Wolfgang has been extensively involved in guiding almost every electrical/avionics installation or upgrade of the BV107 and B234 helicopter. His problem-solving skills, sharp memory, and well-rounded personality are attributes that have helped Wolfgang and Columbia to achieve the highest level of excellence. Those qualities continue to advance the international helicopter industry.