Union News

Steven Rush Elected President of the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association International (PHPA)

The Professional Helicopter Pilots Association International (PHPA), a council of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO, elected Steven Rush to serve as president at its board meeting in Dallas, Texas on February 12, 2012. OPEIU represents approximately 3,000 helicopter pilots throughout the United States and Canada.

Rush is a founding member of the PHPA Council, and a force behind its establishment in 2002. He is also president of OPEIU Local 102, one of the original Local Unions affiliated with the Council, and has served as a Council member since 2002.

“As one of the founders of PHPA, I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to have an even bigger role in our efforts to protect the interests of helicopter pilots, working to improve air safety, security, training and opportunities available to pilots throughout the world.”

With a flight career that spans four decades and includes more than 12,000 aircraft hours and 8,000 hours in flight simulators, Rush began his career in the Army in December 1970. After flight training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, he served in Korea for a year and then returned to Ft. Rucker to serve as a military flight instructor until 1977.

After departing active duty, Rush traveled to Alaska to fly 135 ops for the Alaska Pipeline and then returned to Ft. Rucker to work as a civilian flight instructor on the Flight Training Contract for 32 years. During that time he also spent 16 years in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Rush succeeds Captain Butch Grafton, who has served as PHPA president since its establishment in 2002.

The Professional Helicopter Pilots Association International (PHPA) is a professional, non-profit organization dedicated to improving air safety and protecting the interests of commercial helicopter pilots. PHPA promotes industry professionalism, education and training, and encourages professional helicopter pilots, the military and civilians of all flying disciplines to join together to represent and enforce the high standards, ideals and goals of the profession.

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​The Office and Professional Employees International Union was chartered in 1945 and​, with more than ​90,000 members, we’re one of the larger unions of the AFL-CIO. OPEIU has locals ​throughout the United States and Canada.

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