Man dead in Nev. crash was 40-year chopper veteran |

Man dead in Nev. crash was 40-year chopper veteran

KEN RITTERThe Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A veteran helicopter pilot killed in a crash during an aerial reseeding operation over wildfire-scarred federal land in eastern Nevada was mourned Tuesday by friends and officials, but his widow said he died happy. “He died doing what he loved best,” Rachel McBride told The Associated Press.Teddy R. McBride, 74, known to everyone as Ted, retired in 2009 after more than 40 years piloting helicopters over northeastern Nevada for El Aero Services of Elko. Ted McBride still flew part-time because customers wanted him, Rachel McBride said. On Monday, McBride crashed while dusting seed across rugged terrain charred late last June by the Pinto Fire, which burned more than 4 square miles some 50 miles west of Ely and 30 miles east of Eureka.Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Henriod said it appeared the Bell 206B clipped a power line before crashing about 3 p.m. Monday in a remote part of White Pine County.NV Energy Corp. spokesman Karl Walquist said no customer outage occurred but crews were checking the 345-kilovolt transmission line for damage.Ginna Reyes, president of El Aero Services, noted that McBride was using a dusting bin suspended by a cable from beneath the helicopter at the time of the crash. The cause is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.“This is a tragic event and we have lost a longtime integral part of our business,” Reyes said. “We will all miss Ted McBride significantly.”McBride was one of only four El Aero Services helicopter pilots, Reyes said.Lesli Ellis-Wouters, spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Land Management in Elko, confirmed that McBride was at work on the Pinto Fire burn area when he crashed. She recalled McBride working in BLM seeding operations in previous winters.“He worked with us many years in Ely and Elko,” Ellis-Wouters said. “Many of the people here know him. We’re very saddened and our hearts go out to his family.”Rachel McBride said a son lives in Sedona, Ariz., a stepdaughter lives in the northern Nevada town of Orvada, and a stepson lives in Elko.Ted McBride didn’t want a funeral, Rachel McBride said. She said he’ll be cremated and his ashes will be scattered in the Ruby Mountains of northeastern Nevada.