Helos secure spot on Oshkosh flight line

March 6, 2013

Helicopters will be at show center for the first time at EAA AirVenture 2013, Helicopter Association International and the Experimental Aircraft Association announced at HAI’s Heli-Expo in Las Vegas March 5.

The associations signed a three-year deal to keep HAI’s Heli-Center located near the flight line; the area between the Heli-Center and the flight light will be designated a helicopter display and parking area as part of the deal.

“We want to give helicopters some ‘50-yard line’ real estate at Oshkosh,” said EAA Vice President of AirVenture Features and Attractions Jim DiMatteo in a news release. “Our half-million AirVenture visitors will be able to really see and appreciate these unique aircraft. This goes beyond the homebuilt rotorcraft built by EAA members to the entire spectrum of helicopter operations and their advanced technology.”

HAI has had a presence on the flight line with the two-story Heli-Center since 2011; members have been able to watch the afternoon airshow from the second-story observation deck. The 80-by-120-foot center will have HAI staff and HAI member companies on hand to answer questions and talk about learning to fly helicopters

“As both a fixed-wing and helicopter flight instructor, I appreciate the unique issues associated with both category of aircraft, as well as their similarity of operation,” said HAI President Matt Zuccaro. “Staffing the HELI-CENTER with helicopter professionals and surrounding it with helicopters will give AirVenture visitors a chance to become educated about helicopter operations. And who knows? We might gain some new helicopter pilots and technicians out of all those attendees from the fixed-wing community.”

EAA said on its website the flight line tents (previously known as chalets), which were located near the center of the flight line in 2012, have been moved to other locations.