The late Alan Purwin of Helinet Aviation was honored during the dedication of a helicopter themed play structure at the VNY’s observation area in mid-November at an event that also marked the airport’s 90th anniversary.
"Alan Purwin’s contributions to both aviation and the film industry have been truly remarkable,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez. “We are pleased to honor his lifelong career and his philanthropic generosity with something tangible that brings joy and happiness to children visiting the airport.”
Purwin, a helicopter pilot, entrepreneur and philanthropist, contributed to the aerial cinematography industry, aided in the filming of hundreds of Hollywood movies and was regarded as one of the top film pilots of his generation. He co-founded West Coast Helicopters in 1987, which became Helinet Aviation in 1998, to fulfill his goal of providing the safest, most responsive and reliable helicopter services for the medical, charter, production and electronic news gathering industries.
On September 11, 2015, Purwin was a passenger in a fatal airplane crash in the Andean natural region of Colombia.
Twenty years ago, Purwin started his mission of supporting Children's Hospital Los Angeles by dedicating two specially equipped helicopters to transport critically ill children from across the region for life-saving treatment. Purwin agreed to fund the program, billing insurance when possible, but otherwise underwriting the cost.
Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners member Jeffery Daar, who also spoke at the dedication, lauded Purwin’s work, noting that "This is the only helicopter transport program for Children's Hospital LA. Helinet's two helicopters have transported more than 9,000 critically ill children for life saving treatment."
“Alan always had a heart for the well-being of others, especially children. We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Alan and keep his legacy alive in the aviation community he was extraordinarily passionate about,” said his wife, Kathryn Purwin, the CEO of Helinet.