HAI Announces Recipient of the 2008 Robert E. Trimble Memorial Award
Nov. 12, 2007, Alexandria, VA - HAI is proud to announce this year’s Robert E. Trimble Memorial Award recipient, Mr. Anthony ‘Tony’ Reece. Reece is the Pilot and Owner of Hi Line Helicopters, Inc.
Nov. 12, 2007, Alexandria, VA – HAI is proud to announce this year’s Robert E. Trimble Memorial Award recipient, Mr. Anthony ‘Tony’ Reece. Reece is the Pilot and Owner of Hi Line Helicopters, Inc. He has flown throughout the North Cascades, flying over foothills, glaciers, and gaping crevasses, plucking countless climbers off treacherous peaks. He has ferried trail workers, scientists, dropped doctors on ledges and cliffs to stabilize injured patients before hauling them out, and dropped buckets of water to suppress wildfires.
Reece grew up around aircraft. His father helped build the Darrington airstrip. After completing a stint in the military, Reece earned an airplane pilot's license in 1956. Raised in a family of loggers, he and his two brothers began their own logging operation in the early 1970s. In 1972, Reece decided to learn to fly a helicopter to support the business. He sought instruction from renowned mountain pilot Carl Spee, owner and operator of Alpine Helicopters, who taught him how to land and take off from steep hillsides.
After he completed his flight training, Reece and his brothers purchased a Bell 47 helicopter. The following year, Reece was hired by the United States Geological Survey to fly research scientists studying glaciers in the North Cascades. In 1978, he left the logging company and purchased a Hughes 500 helicopter so he could work on Mount Rainier (at 10,000 feet). Reece was then hired to fly for North Cascades National Park.
Throughout Reece’s 51 years as a licensed pilot, he has rescued and evacuated more than 250 lost or stranded park visitors and performed numerous body recoveries. In the summer of 2004, when a climber fell off the jagged north ridge of Forbidden Peak in the middle of the Cascades and fractured both legs, it was Reece who flew in the rescuer. Kelly Bush, district ranger and search and rescue coordinator at North Cascades National Park recalled, "He landed on a square no bigger than this, outlining half a picnic table. If it were not for his quick response and skill, those individuals would not be alive today.” Reece was the 2002 recipient of the HAI Pilot Safety award and was awarded a 25-year HAI membership plaque in 2005. He embodies the spirit of this award and many people owe their lives to his work.
All winners will be recognized at HELI-EXPO 2008’s annual “Salute to Excellence” Awards Banquet on February 25, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in Houston Texas. For more information about the 2008 “Salute to Excellence” Awards Banquet, contact HAI’s Communications Department at 703-683-4646, fax: 703-683-4745, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information on HELI-EXPO 2008, visit www.heliexpo.com .
HAI is the professional trade association serving the international helicopter community. HAI’s 1,600-plus-member organizations and 1,100 individual members, in more than 74 nations, safely operate more than 5,000 helicopters approximately 2.3 million hours each year. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective method of commerce and to the advancement of the international helicopter community.