HAI, helo operators embraced at AirVenture

July 27, 2011

EAA spokesman Jeff Kaufman welcomed the greater participation of the Helicopter Association International (HAI) at EAA AirVenture.

HAI President Matt Zuccaro HAI President Matt Zuccaro

The organization, which represents helicopter operators around the world, dramatically increased its presence at the airshow by putting up a large display tent with a second floor airshow viewing area on the flight line.

HAI President Matt Zuccaro said he wanted to demonstrate his support for EAA and create a place at the show where helicopter operators would feel welcome. For years, helicopter owners have told HAI and EAA that they felt underserved at the show, according to Zuccaro. The HAI president also said he hoped to attract youth to the pavilion in order to perhaps spur some of them to seek helicopter training.

“It’s important to work together and invite youth,” he said. “We all fly in the same airspace. The issues affect all of us; they are specific to no one.”

HAI staff members said the pavilion was just the beginning and that they hoped in years to come that the site would be filled with helicopters of all types.

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines | Editor in Chief, AOPA

AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.