‘Local hero’ Ruedi Hafen can’t beat ‘Capt. Coolest’

From the Niagara Falls Review:

Niagara Helicopters president Ruedi Hafen’s “quick-thinking and airmanship” were the reasons he was a finalist for Aviator of the Year, but he just couldn’t edge out the compelling story of U. S. Airways pilot Capt. Chesley Sullenberger.

“I feel really good to be chosen as the only helicopter pilot in the world amongst all those airplane pilots,” Hafen wrote in an email after the awards banquet in Dubai Saturday.

Hafen was one of four finalists for Aviator of the Year, nominated for the delicate manoeuvring of his helicopter during the successful rescue of a man from the frigid water below the Horseshoe Falls in March.

“All of us who made this happen, we must have done a great job, we have been recognized and we must continue ‘what we do safe, do best and do with love,'” said Hafen, who emphasizes safety during rescues, but also in day-to-day business of shuttling tourists over Niagara Falls.

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