Alexandria, Virginia (January 10, 2022) – Helicopter Association International (HAI) is pleased to announce Helicopter Life Editor Georgina Hunter-Jones as the recipient of the Salute to Excellence Communications Award. The award, sponsored by Lightspeed Aviation, recognizes an individual for creative distinction in disseminating information about the helicopter industry. It will be presented March 7, 2022, at HAI HELI-EXPO 2022 in Dallas, Texas.
For more than 35 years, UK resident and Helicopter Life Editor Georgina Hunter-Jones has highlighted the importance of helicopters in our everyday lives, promoting their use, merits, and capabilities while generating curiosity and interest in helicopters from people outside the helicopter industry.
Hunter-Jones’s passion for rotorcraft started early. She remembers writing creative stories as a little girl. While in university, she discovered her second passion in a most uncommon way. She wanted to work a summer in Kenya, but her mother offered her a different adventure: If Hunter-Jones would remain in the UK, her mother would pay for her private-pilot single-engine land airplane license. Hunter-Jones took her mother up on the offer, a decision that changed her life.
Hunter-Jones was hooked. She went on to earn additional airplane ratings, including flight instructor, before receiving similar ratings in helicopters. Since earning that first license, she has flown around the world in a variety of helicopters and airplanes, building more than 8,500 hours of flight time. She has competed in the World Helicopter Championships, set a world altitude record in a helicopter, and gained UK CAA examiner authorization for both aircraft categories.
While she had difficulty finding paid writing opportunities before she stepped into aviation, Hunter-Jones found the helicopter journalism industry a fertile ground. Not long after she started flying, she began writing about aviation in a variety of publications, including The Financial Times, Octane Car magazine, Rotor and Wing, Flight International, Air Pictorial, Helicopter World, 4 Rotors, and Flyer Magazine. In 1997, she became the editor of the Helicopter Club of Great Britain’s periodical, Rotor Torque, turning it into a full-color magazine and expanding its content. In 2004, she developed her own publication, Helicopter Life, dedicated to educating and inspiring those in the helicopter industry.
Hunter-Jones’s aim has always been to promote and drive an interest in helicopters. Her magazine has covered a diverse selection of subjects, including firefighting, helicopter safaris, film work, international air ambulance work, and charter flying, to illustrate how helicopters are utilized by civilian and commercial operators worldwide. She has also written regular flight-test reports for the magazine for aircraft ranging from the piston Bell 47 to the Erickson S-64 Skycrane.
Hunter-Jones focuses particularly on promoting alternate technologies in the aviation world and has championed small start-up helicopter operations looking to make helicopter flying accessible to everyone.
Hunter-Jones also dedicates her time to mentoring and inspiring the next generation through her writing. Her children’s book Biscuit and Oscar Learn to Fly opens the world of flight to young minds. She’s also written two nonfiction books about her aviation experiences, one about her flight across the Atlantic and the other on her flight across Russia. A member of the Whirly-Girls, she often mentors the next generation of female helicopter pilots and volunteers as a member of The Skinners’ Co., a London charitable organization dating to the 15th century that supports the education of young people.
The Salute to Excellence Communications Award will be presented during HAI HELI-EXPO 2022. HAI HELI-EXPO®, the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exhibition, will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, March 7–10, with the exhibit hall open March 8–-10. For more information on HAI HELI-EXPO 2022, visit heliexpo.com.
HAI is the professional trade association for the international helicopter industry and represents more than 1,100 companies and over 16,000 industry professionals in more than 65 countries. Each year, HAI members safely operate more than 3,700 helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft approximately 2.9 million hours. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective method of commerce and to the advancement of the international helicopter community.