I was saddened to receive a newspaper article on the death of Alisa Howell, who introduced me to the Bell 206 Jet Ranger and flying the TV news helicopter in Richmond, Virginia (old weblog story plus some photos). I remember that Alisa had studied English at University of Washington before deciding to train towards a career as a helicopter pilot. She was a good writer, took care of two dogs, and had a wry sense of humor. She would have stood out in most crowds, but even more so at the airport where she was an attractive slender stylish young woman in a world of mostly beefy older slobbish guys. The details of the crash aren’t known, but it sounds as though marginal weather was a factor. I remember that Alisa was more cautious than the high-time guys at Helo Air with whom I flew later in the week. She also was a very capable and thorough pilot.
It is a real shame to lose someone like this.