HAI gives James Russell Spray lifetime achievement award


Helicopter Association International (HAI) has awarded James Russell Spray, retired president and CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines, the Bell Lifetime Achievement Award.

Spray has worked in aviation operations and management for 53 years, including 42 years in executive administration. He will be officially presented with the award at Heli-Expo 2018.

Spray started his aviation career as a helicopter pilot for operator Pacific Airmotive Corporation and a flight instructor for Bell Helicopter and Southern Airways.

He then became vice president of medical operations for Rocky Mountain Holdings, growing its air medical services division from seven helicopters and $3 million in revenue to 90 aircraft and $100 million in revenue. He later took the role of chairman and CEO.

Spray served as president and CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines USA from 2003 until his retirement in late 2016. During that time, Safran doubled the number of employees, underwent multiple facility expansions, and was awarded two military contracts.

HAI previously awarded Spray its Golden Hour award for contributions to air ambulance safety. He also received the Medal of Honor of the Order of St. Michael for contributions to US Army aviation.