Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University presented a safety award to Universal Helicopters here at Heli-Expo, recognizing more than 30,000 accident/incident-free flight training hours during the training provider’s five years at the university. Universal Helicopters provides contract helicopter flight training at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Ariz. campus and recently marked 11 accident/incident-free years at all five of its flight training venues in the western U.S.
At the ceremony, Embry-Riddle chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers presented an honorary plaque to Gordon Jiroux, president and CEO of Universal Helicopters. “Five years ago, Gordon and I shook hands when we signed a contract to offer helicopter training–two firsts for us: offering helicopter training and contracting for flight training,” Ayers said. “In both cases, it’s been an amazing success.”
Jiroux noted that his company’s commitment to success was borne of tragedy, after a fatal accident involving one of his flight instructors in the 1980s. “I swore to turn it into a positive,” he said, before thanking his directors/flight instructors–all former students of his–for their contribution to the company’s record of safety.