Vertical Magazine editor wins HAI Excellence in Communications Award

Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced that Oliver Johnson, editor-in-chief of Vertical Magazine–Skies Magazine’s sister publication–is the 2019 winner of HAI’s Salute to Excellence Lightspeed Aviation Excellence in Communications Award.

Oliver Johnson (left) has been reporting on the helicopter industry since 2012. Mike Reyno Photo
Oliver Johnson (left) has been reporting on the helicopter industry since 2012. Mike Reyno Photo

HAI presents the award to the individual or organization achieving the most creative and distinct dissemination of information about the helicopter industry. The award will be presented at HAI’s Salute to Excellence Awards luncheon at HAI Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

As editor-in-chief of Vertical, Johnson works tirelessly behind the scenes to pull every issue together–no small feat, considering that the average print issue size is around 150 pages. He guides the editorial contributors through every stage of the writing process, ensuring that their stories are both factually accurate and compelling to read.

Most of Vertical‘s contributors are industry experts who do not have a background in journalism, so Johnson works overtime to ensure that their expertise and passion reliably shine through in clear, well-crafted prose.


Johnson also contributes outstanding features and breaking news stories for the magazine and Vertical‘s website, striving to write in a way that is not only informative and engaging but clear and concise for any reader to comprehend – whether or not they are familiar with industry concepts. He stays on top of industry trends by writing in-depth stories on the latest innovations.

For a story that appeared in print and online in 2018, Johnson carefully reviewed a 175-page crash report to find the buried lead, which resulted in a significant news story that reached over 9,000 readers online.

The award will be presented at the Salute to Excellence Awards luncheon during HAI Heli-Expo 2019.

HAI Heli-Expo, the world’s largest helicopter tradeshow and exhibition, will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, March 4 to 7, with the Exhibit Hall open March 5 to 7.

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