Though their mission is camaraderie amongst helicopter pilots, the Twirly Birds do more than just flock together once a year to swap stories. This year the organization took advantage of its annual gathering at Heli-Expo to honor Roy Simmons with its Les Morris Award for lifetime achievement. Simmons, who has been flying helicopters for more than 50 years, was a Marine Corps aviator who went on to a career with Columbia Helicopters, where he rose to become president of the company.
Retired since 1999, Simmons, a longtime HAI board member, served as chairman of the association’s board in 2004.
Twirly Bird president Steve Sullivan presented the award to Simmons yesterday at a celebratory event held at the Marriott Anaheim Marquis.