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So I wondered exactly how does one go

about sponsoring a helicopter show? Jim tells me they try to provide a template and some

guidelines for anyone who wants to do the event in their own community. However there are a few rules. The admission is always free and so is the parking. This is not an event about making money; it’s about showcasing the helicopters that we use as tools to get a job done. Whether it’s the US Military, LE, EMS, Fire, sling work, or training, it’s bound to be featured at

the next show. “The

American Heroes Airshow is about rotary wing. We would love to have other aircraft there but that’s not what the show is about. We’ve resisted the notion of bringing in fixed wing, because it would just be another airshow” explains Jim.

So I wondered, just when do you start working on next years Los

Angeles event? “Almost as soon as the last one is over” Why did I already know that?

He starts by reviewing reports from his various teams of volunteers. Air ops and ground ops were the two most visible this year handling all the aircraft arrivals and logistics. I figured it would be tough to continue to get the support of US mili-

tary and public safety during this time of budget cut backs and Jim agrees “It’s an enormous part of the challenge, if we are going to be successful getting aircraft to participate we have to do a better job getting out the story that this is the event for them to come and talk about their mission. We have media there, public, elected officials, they all attend. Some of these officials are the same ones who have to make budgetary decisions about their helicopter operations”. Looking around the day of the event, I can count the volunteers; Jim

helps me with the numbers. On air ops there’s ten people, ground ops are about ten or twelve people, then two or three media promotion folks, plus there’s three FAA inspectors, two fire inspectors, Jim, and CAP provided about thirty five cadets plus another four or five leaders. “Easily seventy five people are involved, but what you’re not seeing out there is another twenty five inter- ested stake holders in the event.” This is a federal US Army Corp of Engineers site which is then leased to LA City Parks and Recreation. “We had to alter the approach pattern and make it steeper just to avoid excessive noise onto the wildlife habitat nearby”. Jim goes on to say,” luckily we can do that pret- ty easy in a helicopter.” ◆

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