Helicopters Magazine

Twirly Birds announce 2015 Lee Morris Award recipient

January 26, 2015  By Twirly Birds

Feb. 25, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - International helicopter pilot organization, Twirly Birds, has announced the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Les Morris award as Ms. Nancy Miller Livingston Stratford.

Nancy received her helicopter rating in 1947 after having been an airplane pilot since 1940.  As the first woman on the west coast of the United States to achieve her commercial helicopter certificate, the second in the United States and the fourth in the world, her countless aviation achievements are impressive by any measure. Miller Livingston Stratford, a true helicopter pioneer, will be available during the Twirly Bird annual meeting to sign copies of her book which chronicles her incredible past. Contact! Britain!: A woman ferry pilot's life during WWII in England is a 220 page account of her British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) service. Son of Mr. Igor I. Sikorsky, Mr. Sergei I. Sikorsky will present the honor this year at the Twirly Birds annual meeting during the 2015 Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida.  Sikorsky Aircraft has been the generous sponsor of the Les Morris award for many years.
The namesake of the Les Morris award was a helicopter pioneer and test pilot whose career spanned almost six decades with helicopter "firsts" that are counted by the dozens.  Having learned to fly in 1928, Morris began his helicopter career in 1941 when he joined Sikorsky Aircraft as the chief test pilot for what were then the very beginnings of vertical flight, working with the patriarch of vertical flight, Igor Sikorsky himself. The Les Morris award is presented annually by the Twirly Birds as lifetime achievement recognition to members with significant background, experience and achievements.
Twirly Birds was founded seventy years ago when a small group of pilots met to share stories and the common experiences of flying helicopters during these early years of vertical flight.  Among notable past members of Twirly Birds include Charles Lindberg, Igor Sikorsky, and Stewart Graham, to name a few.  The intent was then As it is now, to share the common bond of vertical flight.  The group has no political or commercial interest and is by design, a social group comprised of individuals.  Anyone that has soloed at least twenty years ago is encouraged to join Twirly Birds and members are welcome at the annual meeting this year on 3 MAR 2015 at the Orlando Hilton, Lake Mizell meeting room beginning at 1700 hours.  Catch up with old friends and make new ones by joining Twirly Birds!


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