ROTOR Magazine Unveils Winners of 2014 Photo Contest

Alexandria, Va. (February 14, 2014) – The winners of the second annual ROTOR Magazine Photo Contest, announced in the just-printed Winter 2014 issue of the magazine, demonstrate the incredible diversity of the vertical-lift industry in some spectacular pictures. This year’s grand prize winner shows a Belgian Air Force SeaKing taking part in a rescue demonstration. Other category winners showed helicopters at work, helicopters fighting fires, and military helicopters supporting troops on the ground.

“First, let me thank the photographers — all 246 of them — who submitted more than 1,100 photos,” said ROTOR magazine editor Gina Kvitkovich. “The thing I love about this contest is that it lets us set aside the regulations, the politics, the finances, the labor involved in helicopter aviation for at least a moment. Instead, we can focus on these beautiful, powerful machines that, with the right pilot and crew, can do things and go places that no other machine can.”

The five categories in the contest were Helicopters at Work, Helicopters Serving the Community, Helicopters in the Military, People and Their Helicopters, and Cellphone Photos.


The grand prize photo this year was taken by Tom Buysse of Asper, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Buysse photographed a rescue demonstration by a Belgian Air Force Sikorsky SeaKing and a lifeboat of the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution. The deep colors of the aircraft and lifeboat bring an energy to the muted tones of the gray, threatening sky and ocean spray.

Buysse will collect the $500 grand prize. The winners of each of the categories below will win $50. All of their photos will appear in the current issue of ROTOR and will also be displayed at HAI HELI-EXPO 2014 in Anaheim, California, February 24–27.


Rob Edgcumbe, a professional photographer from Chicago, Illinois, took this dramatic shot of a Sikorsky S-58T at the beginning of a heavy-lift operation on a rooftop in Chicago.


During the Springs Fire in May 2013, Richard Gillard of Thousand Oaks, California, captured the Ventura County (California) Aviation Unit in action, saving some houses from a blaze that burned more than 24,000 acres.


LCDR Scott “Smoke” Moak, US Navy, Chesapeake, Virginia, wanted viewers to experience what it is like when a helicopter lands in support of ground troops, including “feeling the rotor wash.” The judges felt he succeeded with this photo of a Sikorsky MH-60S “KnightHawk” landing for casualty evacuation training.


The elegant symmetrical composition and unposed naturalism of flight instructors around a Robinson helicopter made Brian Matuskey of Prescott, Arizona, a winner in the People and Their Helicopters category.


While working with two crews of heli-rappellers fighting a fire in eastern Oregon, Mekel Hofman of Boise, Idaho, used his iPhone 4s to photograph the crews heading back to their Bell 212s in the evening.

Start looking through your photos now! The 2015 ROTOR Magazine Photo Contest will begin on August 1, 2014. You’ll be able to submit your photos at

HAI is the professional trade association for the international helicopter community. Its 1,600+ company members and 1,700+ individual members, in more than 70 nations, safely operate more than 5,000 helicopters approxi­mately 2.5 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.