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Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced that Nick Mayhew, senior program manager, L3 Link Simulation and Training, is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award (sponsored by H. Ross Perot, Jr. and the Perot family); and Carl Jones, Bell 205 and 412 crew chief, National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, is the 2017 winner of its Salute to Excellence Rolls-Royce Excellence in Helicopter Maintenance Award. The awards will be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards dinner at HAI Heli-Expo 2017 in Dallas, Texas.
Mayhew’s commitment to improving the safety and image of the professional flight instructor is demonstrated day in and day out. In addition to his own work as a flight instructor, he strives to instill the highest level of professionalism when mentoring other flight instructors.
His dedication to detail and “doing the right thing” is a testament to his character and work ethic. As chair of the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) Training Work Group, Mayhew has been instrumental in leading major projects to completion.
Mayhew has been a strong advocate for improving pilot performance related to autorotations and emergency procedures training. Through the USHST Training Working Group, Mayhew and his team have been tenacious in advising on several Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and industry best practices for protecting pilots and instructors while performing these maneuvers.
Over the past several years, he has helped breathe life into the Helicopter Certificated Flight Instructor Special Emphasis Program — aimed at addressing safety concerns — in collaboration with the FAA’s Orlando Flight Standards District Office, Bristow Academy and other Florida-based flight schools. He continues to work tirelessly to promote this program nationally in order to strengthen its purpose and benefits.
Mayhew has also been a leader in setting up the “Reel Safety” library of five-minute video clips on the International Helicopter Safety Team and USHST websites, designed to help pilots better understand subjects such as autorotations, risk management, preflight planning, inadvertent entry into instrument meteorological conditions and emergency procedures training. He has sponsored the development of more than a dozen action-packed educational videos, with more to be released soon.
Crew chief receives HAI’s Rolls-Royce Excellence in Helicopter Maintenance Award
HAI also announced that Carl Jones, Bell 205 and 412 crew chief, National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, is the 2017 winner of its Salute to Excellence Rolls-Royce Excellence in Helicopter Maintenance Award, which will also be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards dinner at Heli-Expo.
Carl is described by colleagues as “a dedicated, hardworking individual who epitomizes the type of AME [aviation maintenance engineer] you want working on your helicopter.” For example, on one deployment on a critical contract with a tight schedule, the combining gearbox on a PT6 Twin-Pac failed. Changing this unit is not a small job, but Jones was able to source and arrange for delivery of a replacement, remove the old unit, and install the new one, leaving time to complete the contract. To make this happen, he worked evenings and weekends until the job was done.
NRC fly-by-wire helicopters have unique research equipment attached to the flight controls, as well as auxiliary systems such as a nonstandard 3000-psi hydraulic system. Jones was able to maintain and repair these systems and keep the helicopters operating. In one instance involving problems with the pedal axis of the force-feel system on a Bell 205 fly-by-wire research system, Jones devised a modification to fix the problem.
“Rather than sitting back happy with the status quo, Carl takes pride in his aircraft and is always looking for ways to make incremental improvements to them,” a colleague said. “He is a regular attendee at trade shows like those held by HAI, where he is always on the lookout for new technology to increase our capabilities. Examples of this include a new step and door roller system for our Bell 412 or a cycle counter system for our Bell 205. The savings alone from the cycle counter system has already paid for the system through reduced maintenance costs.”
The awards will be presented at the annual Salute to Excellence Awards dinner during HAI Heli-Expo 2017. HAI Heli-Expo, the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exhibition, will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, from March 6 to 9, with the exhibit hall open March 7 to 9.