International helicopter pilot organization, Twirly Birds, has announced the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Les Morris award as Lifetime Twirly Bird member and past president, Mr. Steve Sullivan. As an industry veteran, past Chairman and board member of HAI, Sullivan began his flying career almost 60 years ago as an ROTC flight training student followed by U.S. Army Rotary Wing flight training and deployment to Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. Sullivan remained in the U.S. Army Reserves in various Command and Staff assignments until the early 1980’s.
One of his many industry achievements, Sullivan formed Aris Helicopters and grew the company as the owner and president for over 30 years from one light training helicopter to over 20 helicopters and 70 employees. ARIS provided not only training but FAR 135 operations in a myriad of mission profiles to maintenance, part sales, and heliport development. During this time, he also purchased International Helicopter Parts, a global provider in component overhaul and parts sales primarily for military customers. The company was sold in 2006 as IHP Worldwide. Sullivan remains active in the helicopter business as the president of ARIS Leasing.
The Les Morris award is presented annually by the Twirly Birds as lifetime achievement recognition to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the helicopter community. Aviation pioneer Les Morris is recognized as an early helicopter test pilot and innovator responsible for the early development and refinement of helicopters while at Sikorsky Aircraft. The award will be presented to Mr. Steve Sullivan at the Twirly Birds Annual Meeting in conjunction with the HAI Heli-Expo on 28 JAN beginning at 1730 hours in the Anaheim Marriott Orange County Ballroom 3 and 4. Twirly Birds invites all members and prospective members (having soloed at least 20 years previously) to attend their meeting.
Twirly Birds was founded over seventy years ago when a small group of pilots met to share stories and the common experiences of flying helicopters during these early years of vertical flight. Among notable past members of Twirly Birds include Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, and Stewart R. Graham, 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. Anyone that has soloed at least twenty years ago is encouraged to join Twirly Birds at their annual meeting in conjunction with the Heli-Expo in Anaheim.
About Twirly Birds
Twirly Birds is an international organization founded in 1945 by pioneering pilots of helicopters and other vertical takeoff aircraft. The sole purpose of this nonprofit organization of individuals is to recognize and foster the fellowship of those brought together by the common bond of vertical flight and to facilitate the cordial exchange of experience and opinions as the helicopter and other vertical takeoff aircraft art progresses. For more information regarding the organization, please visit the Twirly Birds website at http://twirlybirds.org.