February 1, 2010
The international helicopter pilot organization, Twirly Birds, is looking for new members. The group was founded in 1945 when a small group of pilots met to share stories and the common experiences of flying helicopters during these early years of vertical flight. Notable past members include Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, Stanley Hiller, Alan Bristow, and Wes Lematta, to name a few. The intent was then, and is now, to share the common bond of vertical flight. The group has no political or commercial interest and is by design a social group comprised of individuals. Membership dues are modest, and the group publishes a newsletter several times a year to keep the membership updated.
To qualify as a general member, you must have soloed a helicopter or other vertical lift aircraft in the past 20 years. A founding member must have flown solo prior to V-J Day on Aug. 14, 1945. Associate members are also welcome and can apply as an outstanding individual who is not a rotary-wing pilot, but has made a significant contribution to the industry for at least 20 years and have been unanimously approved by the regular Twirly Bird membership.
If you meet these requirements, Twirly Birds invites you to its annual meeting in conjunction with the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo in Houston, Texas. The meeting will be at the Hilton Americas Hotel in the Ballroom of the Americas A, on the second floor of the hotel, Feb. 21, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Membership information is also available on the Twirly Birds Web site.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors.
New legislation in both houses of Congress would allow thousands of pilots to fly without a third class medical and offer new protections for GA pilots.
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