HAI Recognizes 2008 Pilot of the Year

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Franz Ivanovich Levitskiy, a helicopter pilot and instructor with UTair Aviation of Surgut, Russia, is the Helicopter Association International's 2008 Pilot of the Year. During his 40-year career, Levitskiy has logged 27,500 accident-free flight hours in various aircraft including the Mi-4, Mi-6, Mi-8, Mi-8MTV and Mi-26T helicopters.

He contributed to the exploration and development of the largest Russian West-Siberian oil-producing complex and has flown peacekeeping support missions for the United Nations throughout the world. He has landed at the North Pole. A banquet to celebrate Levitskiy and the other winners of HAI's Salute to Excellence awards will be held in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 25 as part of HELI-EXPO 2008.