Officials identify helicopter pilot, Vietnam vet, killed in fiery crash

Henry Schwarz was 85 years old


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Authorities are identifying the helicopter pilot killed when the aircraft crashed into a Virginia apartment building, sparking a fire and killing a resident inside.

Virginia State Police said in a news release Wednesday that the medical examiner has identified the pilot as 85-year-old Henry Schwarz of Alexandria, Virginia. His Robinson R44 crashed Sunday after it took off from the nearby Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport.

WAVY reports that Schwarz was a U.S. Army helicopter pilot who served in the Vietnam War.

The Norfolk-based NBC station reports that he led more than 100 combat air assaults and received 29 medals for performance and service to the country. 

Charley Rogers, a lineman who oversees operations at the airport, said Schwarz was the president of the Virginia Helicopter Association and was headed home from an association meeting.

Some witnesses told National Transportation Safety Board investigators that the engine of the four-seat helicopter sounded "funny" or "unusual" before it crashed.

Police said 91-year-old Jean Lonchak Danylko, who lived in the apartment building, was killed when the helicopter crashed.

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