The roots of HeliExperts International LLC (HEI) can be traced back to 1985 with the formation of Raymond A. Syms and Associates (RAS & A). Richard J. Hodgkins, Ray’s mentor, was a dual rated pilot, in various aviation management and regulatory positions to include being the Director of the Massachusetts Aeronautical Commission. Many of the materials and processes used by RAS & A, later HEI, can trace their roots back to those developed by Richard in his aviation career.
Created in January 2012, HeliExperts International formed from the merger of RAS & A and RJ Alexander Consulting LLC. This merger incorporated the diverse technical capabilities and experience of Rex Alexander into the firm. On 9-30-2017, Rex left HEI to take a position with Uber Technologies as the Head of Aviation Infrastructure. In this new role, Rex will be assisting in the development of future infrastructure and technology to support the next generation of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft.
In 2017, HEI welcomed Jimmy Spearman, Retired FAA Executive with over 21 years in the FAA. Jimmy started in the FAA as an Aviation Safety Inspector, having since advanced to a high-level position in the FAA’s Flight Standards division. This occurred after an extensive and varied military and commercial aviation career spanning over 21 years.
Collectively, the current HeliExperts team benefits from the experiences of more than 150+ combined years of highly specialized aviation, helicopter and heliport expertise and experience in FAA, military, corporate, offshore, and air medical operations with over 75 combined years in aeronautical consulting, safety, heliport development, education, and litigation support.
Both founding HEI members and Jimmy Spearman are active participants and contributors to the aviation and helicopter industries in multiple arenas of governmental rule making, regulatory policy authoring, aviation infrastructure design, technical research, education and training, safety initiatives and risk mitigation strategies.
HeliExperts team members have donated thousands of hours to and actively collaborate with; the Federal Aviation Administration, National Fire Protection Association, National Transportation and Safety Board, Transportation Safety Institute as well as numerous Aviation, Safety and Trade Organization, Groups and Associations. Due to these continuing efforts to promote helicopter safety, many of the design and safety enhancements that HeliExperts have initiated and promoted on behalf of its clients over the years have become standards within the code and best practice arenas.
Both founding members were instrumental in assisting the Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City in developing the current Heliport Evaluation Training Course used to train FAA Inspectors throughout the U.S. on heliport evaluation practices and procedures. While still with the FAA Jimmy was one of the developers of that course and collaborated with HEI on its development. Jimmy has taught and is continuing to teach that course to numerous FAA inspectors since its inception.