As a longtime sponsor of HAI’s Salute to Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award, Bell is not only honored to support the continuous recognition of talented pilots and leaders in the industry, the company is thrilled to see this year’s award honor a former Bell employee and chief pilot. Dwayne Williams joined Bell as a production test pilot, demonstration pilot, and international delivery pilot. During this period, he traveled to every corner of the globe promoting Bell and its leading aircraft and later joined experimental test-pilot staff at the Bell Flight Research Center, before becoming chief pilot in 2000.
Williams was the first person to fly several Bell aircraft, including the 206L-3, 400, AH-4BW SuperCobra, and 230. Supporting the development of tiltrotor technology, he served as a test pilot on the first Bell/Agusta Model 609 commercial tiltrotor flight and for flights on the Bell XV-15 tiltrotor, the forerunner of the Marines’ V-22 tiltrotor aircraft.
“I have always thought of myself as just a pilot,” Williams says. “I’ve taken this very seriously. In the world of test flying, the truth is, you’re responsible for everyone who flies in that aircraft after you. It’s a big responsibility, and it’s difficult. I have a strong work ethic and always aimed to do my very best. I always told the engineers the truth, whether they’d like it or not. To now be recognized by the industry and so many peers for doing a job the way I felt it should be done is really very humbling. It’s not just a measure of your skill, it’s a reflection of your entire career. I’m honored.”
In his career, Williams has accumulated more than 16,000 flight hours and 57 years of experience flying U.S. Army combat, offshore oil-support, flight-training and test-pilot missions. In addition to this award, he has previously received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot award for 50 years of safe flight, a true testament to his skill and commitment to safety. Throughout his remarkable career, he is lauded by pilots, teammates and industry partners for his honesty, leadership, talents and desire to lift up others in their aviation journey.
At HAI Heli-Expo 2022 in Dallas, TX, Bell has the unique privilege of recognizing one of its former team leaders right in its own backyard. Enabling the HAI Salute to Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award is always an honor for Bell, but it’s made exponentially more rewarding delivering it to a member of the Bell family, whose contributions continue to make a lasting impact on the business today. Thank you to Dwayne Williams for your service to Bell and the rotorcraft industry and congratulations on earning a Lifetime Achievement Award.
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We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.
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