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Heli Expo 2006


AJA
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Has anyone ever been to a Heli Expo? Would it be worth traveling to Dallas from Tampa? I'm a fairly new pilot (100 hrs total) & considering attending next February for pleasure & to continue education. Any recommendation on a convenient & reasonably priced hotel nearby the Dallas Convention Center?

 

Thanks,

 

AJA

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It's definitely a sight to see. You need to go at least once in your lifetime. The tips:

 

1. Go on the first day, and maybe again on the second. (But if you spend the first whole day, that's enough.) By the second/third day all the free stuff is gone.

 

2. DO NOT register with HAI for passes, hotels, airline tickets, or ANYTHING. They rip you off big time.

 

3. Just bum around the registration area and someone always has free passes. If not, pay the $25 to get in as a student.

 

4. Expect to get treated like crap by all the vendors if you look like an "everyday" kinda chump (like most of us). If you're not wearing a $1200 suit with a hot Brazilian on your arm, you will get snuffed by all of them. The vendors are there to sell helicopters.....not to entertain the gawkers'. I mean, we're not even "tire kickers" at this point. LOL!

 

5. Snoop around and find out where the parties are that night. Sikorsky, Eurocopter, etc. always have HUGE parties with shrimp and other high roller food. If you play your cards right, you'll eat every meal for free while at HAI. A bunch of guys and I crashed the Sikorsky party at the Hard Rock Casino in '04--I sat next to Serge Sikorsky and his wife!

 

6. The job fair is nice, but the mentoring forum is crap. Don't waste your time with that.

 

7. The education series is always good. I took the powerline course in Vegas--very, VERY effective course. There are plenty of free seminars going on during the show.

 

But, it's a blast. You'll walk out seeing ALL kinds of cool helicopters equipped with newest avionics and systems. You'll get all kinds of free stuff (pens, tote bags, lanyards, calendars, staplers, etc.) All kinds of knick-knacky junk, but it has helicopters on it, so its cool!!

 

Finally, with the Wright Amendment being repealed, Southwest Airlines can now fly from Dallas-Love to ANY state. Soooooooo.......CHEAP AIRFARE! I might go now--American had some ridicules rates from STL up until now. My wife and I are going to Vegas next week, so I'll have to see how much money I have left when I get back.

 

Hope to see you in Dallas!

 

-Jonathan

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