Niagara Helicopters President Recognized for his Piloting Skills
During a prestigious award dinner put on by Flightglobal, the trade association of the aviation industry, Ruedi Hafen, President of Niagara Helicopters was recognized for his “quick thinking and airmanship” during a rescue on the Niagara River earlier this year.
It was his actions in March to save a man who had jumped over the Falls into the frigid waters of the Niagara River that made him a nominee this year.
After the man tried to thwart rescue attempts by avoiding drag lines and other attempts to “snag” him by fire rescue, Ruedi jumped into action and used the Rotor Wash from the blades of his helicopter to push the deranged man close enough to shore for rescuers to finally reach him.
It was this quick thinking that probably saved the mans life and made Mr. Hafen one of four finalists for the Aviator of the Year award.
It was however US Airways pilot Capt Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who won the coveted award this year in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for his famous and remarkable emergency landing on the Hudson River in New York, saving the lives of 155 passengers.
It was tough competition this year but Ruedi didn’t do to badly considering he was the only helicopter pilot in the world nominated this year.
Ruedi and his staff at Niagara Helicopters continue to fly tourists and newlyweds around the Niagara area but are always ready to help when the rescue call comes up.