Final Chopper Crash Victim Remembered In Indy

Helicopter pilot honored as Vietnam vet, family man

More than 200 people gathered in downtown Indianapolis Thursday to remember Del Waugh, who died when the medical helicopter he was piloting crashed near Aurora, Ill.

The funeral service for the 69-year-old Vietnam veteran took place at the Indiana War Memorial.

Speakers remembered Waugh as a decorated veteran who survived being shot down in Vietnam, as well as an energetic family man who loved to laugh.

"Del Waugh was as topnotch a pilot as you'd ever want to know," Joe DePaulo, manager of Bolingbrook's Clow International Airport, had said previously.

The Carmel, Ind., resident will be buried with full  military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in January.

Waugh and crew members William Mann and Ron Battiato were transporting 14-month-old Kirstin Blockinger when their Air Angels medical helicopter struck a radio tower wire and crashed Oct. 15.

Federal investigator confirmed Wednesday that blinking strobe lights seemed to be working on the WBIG-AM radio tower in Aurora last week when a medical helicopter apparently crashed into one of the tower's guy wires, killing all four people aboard.

"A lot of time you think of what could have happened, but this time nobody could really figure out what happened, and it's just so hard for me to believe that this is some mistake on his part," DePaulo said.

Funerals for Mann, Battiato and Blockinger have already been held.


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