Preparation for next week's Helicopter Association International's (HAI) Heli-Expo is in full swing here in Dallas, TX. I was extraordinarily grateful to be invited by the crew at HAI to photograph the set up and arrival of the helicopters. I was told that this may be the largest Heli-Expo to date. There will be approximately 60 helicopters on the exhibition floor on Tuesday March 7th. Over the next four days, men and women work continuously behind the scenes so that on Tuesday morning at 10 am people from all over the world will enter the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas to what I would describe as a magical world filled with state of the hovering machines and the technology that supports them.
The morning started with a briefing, where the pilots, technicians, FAA, ATC and HAI representatives gathered to cover all the safety aspects of the mass migration of helicopters preparing to arrive at the convention center loading docks. It is incredibly uplifting to witness the multiple factions of our industry coming together as a team for this occasion. Matthew S. Zuccaro, the president of HAI, started off with a short speech emphasizing the importance of safety and professionalism in this task. From there they covered the route into the heliport, ATC frequencies, and LZ procedures. Everyone there played a vital role in the safety of the operation, and this set the tone for a successful day.
After the briefing, we headed out to the loading dock/ helipad to wait while the pilots drove out to Dallas Executive Airport/ Redbird, to begin the day's series of flights. I had the chance to catch up with old friends and meet some great new people. A few photographers from all over the world were gathered here and I was excited for the chance to learn a few tips from the pros!