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Subject: Capt. Paul Smith
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JH Guru
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10/11/2007 10:32 AM  
Captain Paul Smith, a longtime member of the HAI Safety Committee and former Committee Chairman, died last Sunday night, October 7, in Manhattan, New York. Captain Smith was struck by a taxicab, which ran up onto a crowded sidewalk after the driver lost control of the vehicle. Also injured were Paul’s wife Donna, and other members of the Smith family who were just leaving a Midtown restaurant after celebrating a family birthday. Paul was a longtime member and former President of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council and currently served as their Safety Committee Chairman. Paul has been an institution in the New York helicopter scene for more than 25 years and had previously served as Chief Pilot of Island / National Helicopters. At the time of his death, he was the pilot for the WABC-TV News Copter, for whom he had flown for numerous years. Just two years ago, Smith was part of a team that won an Emmy for spot news coverage. In his news chopper, Paul covered many major news stories including the crash of Cory Lidle's plane on the Upper East Side, the Staten Island ferry accident, the Chopper 4 crash, and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. If there was a major story, Captain Paul Smith was most likely in the cockpit of Newscopter Seven flying overhead and gathering the pictures for Eyewitness News. The city’s pilots and reporters expressed shock and deep sadness at his passing. Reportedly, in his honor, there were no TV stations in New York City flying their helicopters on Monday. HAI President Matt Zuccaro, who spent more than 30 years as a pilot and operator in New York City prior to taking the helm of HAI expressed his shock at the loss of his long time friend. “It was my privilege and honor to have known Paul for all these years. His passion and dedication to our industry will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.” HAI extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Paul Smith, his friends and co-workers at ABC 7 Eyewitness News, HAI Safety Committee members, and members of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council. Captain Paul Smith was 60. At this time, arrangements have not been finalized. HAI will keep you advised as additional information and updates become available. Update: There will be two viewings for Paul on Saturday, October 13th at: Chapey Funeral Home, 1225 Montauk Highway, West Islip, NY 11795, 631-661-5644, www.chapeyfamily.com. *The first viewing will take place from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM and the second viewing will be held 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM. During the second viewing, a memorial service will be held at 8:00 PM. Arrangements for a service at Arlington National Cemetery will be made in the future and HAI will keep you posted.
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