Helicopter Association International has declared Marty Wright, chief flight instructor at the Bell Training Academy, as the 2019 recipient of the W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award.
Sponsored by H. Ross Perot and the Perot family, the award recognises superlative contributions by a helicopter flight instructor in upholding high standards of excellence. The award will be presented at HAI's Salute to Excellence Awards luncheon at HAI Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta.
As chief flight instructor for the Bell Training Academy, Wright is responsible for maintaining instruction and training standards on Bell products and is directly responsible for the training, standardisation and mentoring of the academy's 34 instructors. He also serves as the chief flight instructor for the Bell Training Academy FAA 141 training school and EASA approved training organisation and as the training centre evaluator for the FAA-approved 142 Bell Helicopter Training Center. Additionally Wright is instrumental in the development and approval of FAA, EASA, and ANAC certification for Bell's 142 training centre.
Wright joined Bell Helicopter as a V-22 pilot ground instructor after retiring from the US Marines Corps following 22 years of service. During his military and civilian career, he has amassed more than 7,800 hours of flight instruction provided in six different Bell models and the Sikorsky CH-53.
HAI says that, during his years with the Bell Training Academy, Wright has been described as a gifted leader, helicopter pilot, and flight instructor, who can articulate subtle and complex helicopter aerodynamics and relate them to his students in an easy fashion. Nominators also indicated that this outstanding instructor has the innate ability to transfer knowledge to his students in a way that is lasting and meaningful; Wright goes beyond the “how to” step in flight training.
In addition to his duties at Bell, Wright also provides guidance for the entire helicopter pilot community, having contributed several published articles on autorotations and serving as supporting instructor for the FAA “Autorotations: Reality Exposed” presentation given at HAI and rotorcraft safety symposiums from 2015 to 2017. He has also assisted in the filming of the Discovery Channel's “Belly of the Beast” helicopters series in 2010; coordinated Bell Helicopter's support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in August and September of 2005; and received a Certificate of Achievement from the US Park Police for assistance with an F-16 crash that occurred during a Bell 412 training flight for Park Police pilots.