HAI announces two Salute to Excellence recipients

Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced that Jack H. Schonely is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence MD Helicopters Law Enforcement Award; and Bryan Smith is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence BLR Aerospace Safety Award.

Police officer/pilot receives HAI’s Salute to Excellence MD Helicopters Law Enforcement Award

Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced that Jack H. Schonely, police officer/pilot (retired), Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence MD Helicopters Law Enforcement Award. The award will be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards dinner at HAI Heli-Expo 2017, in Dallas, Texas.

Jack Schonely spent more than 33 years in law enforcement where he dedicated his professional life to promoting professionalism in, and the advancement of, helicopter use in airborne law enforcement in the U.S. and around the world. HAI Photo
Jack Schonely spent more than 33 years in law enforcement where he dedicated his professional life to promoting professionalism in, and the advancement of, helicopter use in airborne law enforcement in the U.S. and around the world. HAI Photo
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Schonely spent more than 33 years in law enforcement where he dedicated his professional life to promoting professionalism in, and the advancement of, helicopter use in airborne law enforcement in the U.S. and around the world. He is a nationally-recognized expert on suspect tactics and perimeter containment.

Schonely began his law enforcement career as a deputy sheriff in Berks County, Pennsylvania, before moving to Los Angeles in 1983 and joining the LAPD. He witnessed the changes in daily police work firsthand and did exhaustive research on suspect tactics, culminating in his book: Apprehending Fleeing Suspects: Suspect Tactics and Perimeter Containment.

In addition to his book, Schonely has been published in many industry magazines, including Vertical 911.

Working as an LAPD patrol officer, Schonely was involved in perimeters containment on a daily basis. In 1992, he became a K-9 handler within the Metropolitan Division, where he spent the next five years searching for L.A.’s most dangerous criminals.

He worked as a tactical flight officer in LAPD’s air support division, coordinating tactical operations from a helicopter that involved foot pursuits and perimeter containments. He served as chief tactical flight officer and later command pilot, where he served until his retirement in June 2016.

Schonely has participated in more than 2,000 perimeter containments during his career, and he has seen many successes and failures. He has shared this experience with thousands of U.S. and Canadian law enforcement officers and as an instructor for the Airborne Law Enforcement Association and individual agencies. His programs set the standard for tactical flight officer training and perimeter containment operations.

Helicopter safety advocate receives HAI’s Salute to Excellence BLR Aerospace Safety Award

HAI also announced that Bryan Smith, pilot for the Seminole County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office and safety program manager for ALEA, is the 2017 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence BLR Aerospace Safety Award. This award honors those who have excelled in promoting safety in the helicopter industry and will also be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards dinner during Heli-Expo.

A pilot since 1992, Bryan Smith flies rotary-and fixed-wing aircraft for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, where he serves as safety officer and instructor pilot. HAI Photo
A pilot since 1992, Bryan Smith flies rotary-and fixed-wing aircraft for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, where he serves as safety officer and instructor pilot. HAI Photo

Smith has dedicated countless hours to developing and advocating safety solutions for pilots and operators worldwide. A pilot since 1992, he flies rotary-and fixed-wing aircraft for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, where he serves as safety officer and instructor pilot.

He has flown both fixed and rotary-winged aircraft in law enforcement aviation for 11 years and has been a regular instructor at aviation events around the world for the last eight years. Smith is also the ALEA safety program manager and works on the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST), where he has chaired the Safety Management System (SMS) Working Group and served on the Flight Training Working Group. He works as an instructor in aviation safety and SMS, law enforcement tactics, flight training, accident response planning and unit management and marketing strategies.

Since 2012, Smith has supported ALEA members’ safety management and program development efforts, safety outreach and education, and development of risk management tools and resources. He has also acted as liaison with other aviation safety organizations.

As chair of the USHST SMS Working Group, Smith led a volunteer team of industry experts to help cut worldwide accident rates and implement SMS. He continues to be an active contributor to this team and has published numerous articles in industry trade publications, such as Vertical 911. He also gives regular safety presentations and leads safety courses around the world.

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2 thoughts on “HAI announces two Salute to Excellence recipients

  1. I have lived in Seminole County since January 1977. I have met a lot of the Officers in the SCSO and I read about each one when I see information regarding them. I just read about your accomplishments. I am very proud of you. Thank you for choosing to fly over us and to help the ground crews do their work too. I want to make sure you know that you are appreciated. You help make SCSO special to the residents of Seminole County. Be proud.

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