Instructor Pilot Wins HAI Salute to Excellence Award for More than 35 Years of work at Bell

By S.L. Fuller | December 19, 2017
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John Williams

John Williams. Photo courtesy of Helicopter Association International

John W. Williams spent more than 35 years as a certificated flight instructor. After serving in the military, he joined Bell Helicopter, where he would remain for the rest of his career as an instructor. For his work, Williams has received Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) Salute to Excellence W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award.

According to HAI, Williams first joined Bell as a production test pilot. He then worked in the Experimental Flight Test Department before he became an instructor at the Bell Flight Academy. There, he trained pilots in 19 countries.


“As an instructor, he was known for stressing safety both in the helicopter and on the ground,” HAI said.

Later in his career, Williams became pilot training safety manager for Bell and was a Part 141 night-vision goggle instructor. HAI said that of Williams’ 12,500 flight hours, more than 4,000 hours were earned during flight training. Outside of his career in the training department, Williams holds five international helicopter speed records, among other achievements.

This award will be formally presented during HAI’s Heli-Expo 2018 in Las Vegas.

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