Airbus presented the “Civil Helicopter – Innovation in Rotary-wing Aviation Safety Award” to the inaugural recipient, Eye in the Sky, at the annual Rotortech exposition in Brisbane, Australia. The New Zealand-based aviation company was recognised for their significant contributions in improving aviation safety performance, and making a tangible difference to safety in the rotary-wing industry.
Eye in the Sky designed and manufactured a video-based flight data recorder that is lightweight, compact and affordable for the aviation industry, with all proceeds going to aviation related scholarships through the James PG Foundation. The Eye in the Sky is certified for a range of helicopters and is able to provide vital answers in the event of incidents or crashes.

Founder and developer of Eye in the Sky, Louisa (Choppy) Patterson said, “We are extremely proud to be the 2021 recipient of the Airbus Safety Award. Our team has been passionate about developing this cockpit video, audio and flight data recorder to allow the aviation industry to enhance the safety of their operations. I would like to thank my crew, our certifying engineers, software developers and the aviation authorities for embracing this project with the realisation that their commitment to this small powerful device will make a difference, and will save lives.”

“We acknowledge the other nominees, thank Airbus and look forward to many Eye in the Sky devices being fitted to more helicopters across the Pacific region,” she added.

Not only does Eye in the Sky device provide critical answers in the event of an air incident, the high definition video, audio and data and user-friendly playback software is also used to review close occurrences, solve maintenance anomalies, review training flights and route checks, and raise the safety bar.

Christian Venzal, Managing Director Airbus Helicopters in Australia and New Zealand, said “We are proud to present this inaugural award to Eye in the Sky for their significant and positive impact on aviation safety. Our judging panel included aviation safety specialists, pilots, as well as ethics and compliance colleagues who rigorously assessed the nominees against the awards criteria.”

“The Airbus Rotary Aviation Safety award is part of our commitment to supporting flight safety for all our customers and passengers who fly in our aircraft every day.”

The Airbus “Civil Helicopter – Innovation in Rotary Aviation Safety Award” was first launched at Rotortech 2021, with the aim to actively promote and celebrate efforts to enhance safety performance. All submissions from across Australia and New Zealand highlighted a high level of innovation across the Australian rotary wing sector, with a focus on continuously improving safety outcomes.

The annual award programme for 2022 submissions will open on 1 September. To be eligible, nominees must be a Pacific-based rotary wing organisation, group, company or agency, and submit the Call for Nominations Form to enter.

Awards will be issued for nominations which demonstrate successful development and implementation of a programme, act, effort, contribution or service that has had a significant and positive impact on rotary-wing safety in the Pacific region.