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Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced that Marty Wright, chief flight instructor at the Bell Training Academy, is the 2019 recipient of the W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award.
This award, sponsored by H. Ross Perot and the Perot family, recognizes superlative contributions by a helicopter flight instructor in upholding high standards of excellence. The award will be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards luncheon at HAI Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
As chief flight instructor for the Bell Training Academy, Wright is responsible for maintaining the highest standards of instruction and training on Bell products in the industry. He is directly responsible for the training, standardization, and mentoring of the 34 academy instructors.
He also serves as the chief flight instructor for the Bell Training Academy FAA 141 training school and EASA-approved training organization, as well as the training center evaluator for the FAA-approved 142 Bell Helicopter Training Center. Wright is instrumental in the development and approval of FAA, EASA, and ANAC certification for Bell’s 142 training center.
Wright joined Bell as a V-22 pilot ground instructor after retiring from the U.S. Marines Corps following 22 years of service. During his military and civilian career, he has amassed more than 7,800 hours of flight instruction provided in six different Bell model aircraft and the Sikorsky CH-53.
During his years with the Bell Training Academy, Wright has been described as a gifted leader, helicopter pilot, and flight instructor, who can articulate subtle and complex helicopter aerodynamics and relate them to his students in an easy fashion. Nominators also indicated that this outstanding instructor has the innate ability to transfer knowledge to his students in a way that is lasting and meaningful — Wright goes beyond the “how to” step in flight training.
In addition to his duties at Bell, Wright also provides guidance for the entire helicopter pilot community, contributing several published articles on autorotations and serving as supporting instructor for the FAA “Autorotations: Reality Exposed” presentation given at HAI and rotorcraft safety symposiums from 2015-17.
He also assisted in the filming of the Discovery Channel’s “Belly of the Beast” helicopters series in 2010; coordinated Bell’s support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in August and September of 2005; and received a Certificate of Achievement from the U.S. Park Police for assistance with an F-16 crash that occurred during a Bell 412 training flight for Park Police pilots.
The award will be presented at the Salute to Excellence Awards luncheon during HAI Heli-Expo 2019. HAI Heli-Expo, the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exhibition, will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, March 4 to 7, with the exhibit hall open March 5 to 7.