Matt was a HAI member since the early 1980s and was elected to the HAI Board of Directors in 1987. He served as Chairman in 1991 and was named President of HAI in 2005. He retired in January of this year.
James Viola, current HAI President and CEO, said: “Matt was one of a kind in our industry. Helicopters were part of his life, beginning with his US Army service in Vietnam. Throughout his career, he made safe helicopter operations his priority, and we are a better, stronger, and safer industry today because of his efforts on behalf of rotorcraft.”
He may be best remembered for a column he wrote for ROTOR magazine in 2013, encouraging pilots to ’land the damn helicopter’” in situations where proceeding would endanger themselves and passengers. From that column, HAI’s Land & LIVE programme was born, saving countless lives.
Matt received the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot award during the HAI HELI-EXPO 2020 in Anaheim, recognising his 50 years of professionalism and skills as a pilot.
“Speaking on behalf of our industry, we have lost a good friend who will be missed. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Doreen, and his family”, said Viola.