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Omniflight Helicopters, Inc. Check Airman among Recipients of 2010 Salute to Excellence Awards from Helicopter Association International

Omniflight Helicopters, Inc., a leading national provider of air medical services, announced today that John Thomas Read, check airman and flight instructor for the company, is the recipient of the W. A. (Dub) Blessing Certified Flight Instructor of the Year Award from The Helicopter Association International (HAI).

The award is part of HAI’s 2010 "Salute to Excellence" Awards program, which, now in its 49th year, recognizes outstanding achievement performed by individuals or companies within the international helicopter community. Winners will be recognized during the HAI "Salute to Excellence" banquet and awards ceremony to be held on Monday, February 22, 2010, during the HELI-EXPO 2010 in Houston, Texas.

Read was recognized for his dedication to flight training and education. During his nearly 21-year career at Omniflight while serving in various roles, Read achieved many accomplishments including, among others, successfully serving as both a Part 135 Flight Instructor and Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)-certified check airman in various multi-engine helicopters; transitioning hundreds of pilots into various aircraft for VFR and IFR EMS pilot duties; serving as principal contact to the FAA during the establishment of the Terminal Enroute Procedures (TERPS) for Helicopter GPS Instrument Approach procedures; developing multi-media training program curriculum; and creating the Omniflight’s Flight and Ground Training Program. Read also established and maintained pilot records for hundreds of Omniflight pilots while maintaining current Certified Flight Instructor Ratings in Single Engine Land, and Multiengine Land Airplane with Instrument Certification and Rotorcraft Helicopter Instructor with Instrument Certifications. Most importantly, Read has garnered an accident- and incident-free career since 1968, earning 19 Pilot Proficiency awards from the FAA.

“Tom’s decades of hard work, dedication and industry-leading efforts in the training and instruction areas are finally being recognized by a distinguished organization within the air medical services sector. His insights and contributions toward our flight training and education efforts have proved invaluable to our company. We are extremely proud of Tom and his career successes, which have now resulted in industry-wide recognition with the bestowing of this award from HAI,” noted Anthony J. DiNota, president and chief operating office at Omniflight.

Read added: “I am privileged be recognized by HAI for doing what I believe is my duty and what I do best – ensuring proper flight training protocols, education processes and safety measures that allow Omniflight to successfully compete and excel within the air medical transport services sector. I very much appreciate HAI’s recognition through this prominent award. It is truly an honor to receive this special acknowledgment.”

In addition to accomplishments at Omniflight, prior to joining the company, Read had secured a decorated and prestigious military career. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 21 years as a pilot in roles both foreign and domestic. These included duties as an aero-medical evacuation helicopter pilot; healthcare plans and operations officer; aviation safety officer and Master Army aviator. Most notably, Read’s extraordinary flying experience and instructional expertise have truly made him stand out in his role at Omniflight and in the industry.

About Omniflight

Addison, Texas-based Omniflight Helicopters, Inc. is a leading provider of air medical services throughout the U.S. The company operates about 100 aircraft nationally from 72 bases in 18 states, with a strong presence across the Southwest, Midwest and Southeast regions as well as certain Mountain State areas. Its focus is primarily on inter-facility and on-site emergency scene response using both rotor and fixed-wing aircraft. For more information, please visit www.omniflight.com.

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