HAI Announces Recipient of the 2009 Lawrence D. Bell Memorial Award

HAI is proud to announce the 2009 Lawrence D. Bell Memorial Award recipient, Neill Osborne; President and COO, Era Helicopters LLC, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Osborne joined the US Army in 1967, flying helicopters in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 where he was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal. He then trained returning Vietnam veteran pilots as instructor pilots. In 1971 he entered the public realm, working until 1993 at Petroleum Helicopters. From 1987 to 1993 he served as Petroleum Helicopters' Vice President of operations where he was instrumental in encouraging the development of one of the first Crew Resource Management training courses for its pilots.

From 1993 to 2000 Osborne worked at Air Logistics, where from 1998 to 2000 he served as Vice President and General Manager. There he implemented development of the use of flight training devices and one of the first Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions flight training classes to help pilots cope with unforgiving offshore weather. In 2003, Osborne was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Tex-Air Helicopters, Inc., where he was responsible for managing the safety and operational activities of the Tex-Air fleet and organization.

From 2005 he has been President of Era Helicopters LLC. Under his leadership, Era Helicopters developed the first FAR Part 135 Flight Operations Quality Assurance program and one of the first Safety Management Systems adopted by a U.S. operator. At Era Helicopters, Neill works to ensure that all new aircraft purchases provide crews and passengers with the latest safety features available to the industry.

Active in the international helicopter industry for more than 40 years, Osborne has had worldwide responsibility for the operational efficiency and safety of a broad variety of aircraft types. He also holds an Airline Transport Pilot's rating for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. In addition to his many accomplishments, Osborne has contributed much of his personal time and money to the advancement of the Helicopter Industry. Osborne served as an HAI Board member from 1993 to 1997 and Chairman of HAI in 1998. HAI salutes Neill for his unwavering support and contributions to the helicopter industry.

All winners will be recognized at HELI-EXPO 2009's annual "Salute to Excellence" Awards Banquet on February 23, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in Anaheim, California. For more information about the 2009 "Salute to Excellence" Awards Banquet, contact HAI's Communications Department at 703-683-4646, fax: 703-683-4745, or email: rotor@rotor.com.

For more information on HELI-EXPO 2009, visit www.heliexpo.com.