Pioneering Helicopter Operator Dies

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One of the first commercial helicopter pilots in the U.S. died June 15. Joseph Seward got his commercial helicopter certificate in 1947, while still a carrier-based Navy pilot. His company, Rotor Aids, did everything from crop-dusting to servicing oil platforms. He helped found the California Helicopter Association, which became the Helicopter Association of America (he was founding president) and finally Helicopter Association International. Seward retired from the helicopter business in 1980 and operated a hotel on Bora Bora for nine years, but the bug hit again and in 1991 he built and flew a kit helicopter. His ashes will be spread at sea from a helicopter.