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a crude map. On the second attempt, Mashman reached the mining town.

There the injured girl,

who was in a full body cast, was loaded into the helicopter. Mashman was able to fly her back to a hospital.

radio and over 8,000 people were at the hospital when he landed.

in the development of several of the most success- ful military helicopters ever created.

The rescue was broadcast on Lima In the process of saving the girl,

Joe Mashman became the first person to cross the Andes Mountains in a helicopter (Padfield, 1992). In the 1960s, Joe Mashman played a key role

His ability to

act as a liaison between the Bell engineers and the end-users was essential in Bell’s success in the 1960s.

Mashman’s mastery of the Bell UH-1

Huey was a key reason why several foreign mili- taries chose to purchase it. He later demonstrated the Bell 207 Sioux Scout, the forerunner to the first helicopter specifically designed for attack missions, to the U.S. Army. This resulted in the develop- ment of the Bell Model 209 (AH-1) HueyCobra. The AH-1 was the first dedicated attack helicop-

ter. His successful demonstrations to senior U.S. Army officers helped pave

the way for the

HueyCobra to go from initial demonstrations to deployment in Vietnam in less than two years. Into the 1970s, he continued to demonstrate Bell heli- copters and provide critical feedback to the design- ers on civilian models such as the Jet Ranger and Model 222. Joe Mashman retired from Bell Helicopter in

1981. At the time of his retirement he was Vice President of Special Operations. Over his nearly 40 year career with Bell, Mashman held many jobs including production test pilot, experimental test pilot, demonstration pilot, assistant director of con- tracts, director of sales planning and assistant vice president (Spenser, 1998). In addition to his work at Bell, Joe Mashman held a variety of important positions in the helicopter industry including pres- ident of the American Helicopter Society, founding member of the Twirly Birds, founding member and president of the Helicopter Club of American, member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots,

board member of the Helicopter Association of American (now HAI) and chairman of the HAI IFR committee. Towards the end of his career with Bell and after retirement, he became very involved in helicopter safety writing numerous articles on the subject.

awarded the HAI safety award three times.

For his work with helicopter safety he was The

award was later renamed the Joe Mashman Safety Award (Padfield, 1992). Joe Mashman passed away in 1994 at the age of 78. During nearly 60 years in aviation, he acquired over 17,000 flight hours with over 11,000 in rotorcraft (Haddaway, 1977). His work in the helicopter industry earned him the nickname “Mr. Helicopter” and garnered him an impressive list of honors and awards.


1964, he became an Honorary Fellow in the American Helicopter Society, followed by similar honors in India and Australia. Mashman was also an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and received the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award in 1965. By the beginning of the 1990s, helicopters

Below: Joe Mashman (far side, left) is shown with the famous Russian helicopter designer Dr. Michel Mil (near side, right). Mashman was showing Dr. Mil a Bell Huey at the 1966 Paris Air Show. Photo: Courtesy of the Mashman Aviation History File



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