More detail on this person: HELICOPTER ACCIDENT ON ELK COMPLEX FIRES, HAPPY CAMP,
(YREKA, CA)- The victim of yesterday's helicopter crash has been identified as Dennis Luster Davis, 61, of Boise, ID. Davis was a pilot for Idaho Helicopters, Inc., also of Boise, ID, and flew a Bell 205, type 2 helicopter, tail number 205BR. Davis' helicopter crashed at 10:15 am as he was providing logistical support to crews fighting the Elk Fire. The Elk fire is one of 30 fires within the Elk Complex; 24 of the 30 fires are 100% contained.
At 12 p.m. yesterday, aviation operations were suspended on the Elk Complex. Suspending air operations is routine following aviation accidents. Aviation resources resumed regular operations this morning.
A USDA Forest Service National Accident Investigation Team under the leadership of Jim Sedell arrived today, and has initiated their investigation.
Dennis L. Davis ID United States Dennis L. Davis I, Vicki Vosburg, am writing this in love and memory of my husband, Dennis L. Davis who passed away due to a helicopter accident in Yreka, Calif. fighting wildfires on Monday, July 23, 2007. Dennis was born Aug. 2, 1946 in Palm Springs, Calif. to Ben Davis, Sr. and Sally Tissaw. He was born with a passion for humans and animals alike. He would give the shirt off his back, or food from his hand to any person or animal in need. He always tried to find a connection with people he met. He received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1978 and was awarded a Master of Science Degree becoming a Naturopathic Physician in 2004. When he wasn't fighting fires, he specialized in Nutrition and Iridology working with me at The Herb Pantry in Boise. He was an experienced helicopter pilot flying for more than 35 years including two and half tours in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star Medal; piloting for the police department in Pomona, Calif.; flying Life Flight for St. Al's and finally fighting forest fires nationally. He chose to start fighting forest fires because he was so concerned about the number of animals and people losing their lives. He was very committed to this being his last year of fighting forest fires, saying he was just tired. This time I knew he was serious; he was ready to come home. We found each other and married on June 25, 1994 in Sedona, Ariz. This began my love affair with one of the most incredible men - he was perfect for me. He was the love of my life; my very best friend. I can't imagine being without him. I was a very lucky woman and feel blessed to have had these years with him. I will miss him with all my heart. We had a ritual during our phone calls to end our conversation every night. I would say, "be safe and I love you." And, he would respond with "I love you, too. Dennis was a person who left a mark everywhere he went; he always had a ready hand and an open heart. He'll be missed by his entire family and friends and every person who ever came in contact with him. No one knows when we will leave this earth. Please make sure you tell your loved ones each day "I love you" and don't forget the hug. That's important, too. Dennis is survived by myself, his daughters from a previous marriage; Stacie Wyatt and Tracie Brister, their spouses and children of Sedona, Ariz. He had five sisters-in-law; Pat Jordan (Ron), Lynda De La Pena (Lucky), Judy Vosburg, Cindi Walton (Lee), and Lori Stom (Jack), along with several nephews and nieces. The funeral will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, 2007 at Alden-Waggoner, 5400 Fairview Ave, Boise. There will be a reception following at the El Korah Shrine Temple, 1118 W. Idaho St. in Boise after the services. Dennis Davis: Boise pilot dies in helicopter crash Dennis Davis was delivering water to firefighters in California, investigators are still trying to determine the cause. KATHLEEN KRELLER & The Associated Press Dennis Davis told his wife he loved her and missed her and was ready to come home during a telephone conversation lasting more than an hour Sunday night. That was the last conversation the Boise couple shared. On Monday morning, Davis, 60, died in a helicopter crash while piloting his aircraft and delivering water to firefighters battling a blaze in Klamath National Forest in Northern California. Vicki Davis , his wife, was emotionally distraught and unable to speak with an Idaho Statesman reporter. Her sister, Judy Vosburg , said the couple shared a magical marriage and were best friends. "Just last night she said, 'I want you to fly right and be safe and please come home,' " Vosburg said. "He said 'I love you, and I miss you.' " Investigators were trying to determine what caused the chopper to go down in "extremely rugged" mountain territory about 12 miles southeast of Happy Camp in Siskiyou County, said Duane Lyon, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman. Davis worked for Idaho Helicopters and was under contract with the U.S. Forest Service, although he was not a government employee. He was the only person in the aircraft. Davis' helicopter was carrying a large water container to refill hand-pump backpacks for firefighters on the ground. Some firefighters saw the helicopter crash and reported it to emergency dispatchers. The cause of the crash is under investigation, officials said. More than 1,100 fire crews were battling the cluster of about 30 lightning-sparked fires covering 14 square miles near the Oregon state line. "I have no regrets. I absolutely love this man. He was my playmate, my best friend, my traveling buddy. He was my everything," Vicki Davis said through her sister. Vosburg said the couple had been married for 12 years and moved to Boise from Sedona, Ariz., about seven years ago. Vicki Davis owns the Herb Pantry on Curtis Road, where Dennis Davis had office space for his naturopathic practice. Davis was a true Renaissance man, Vosburg said. He was a Vietnam veteran and had piloted helicopters since his 20s. He had a passion for antique trucks and cars. He adored cats and had adopted strays. He had worked as a police officer in Palm Springs and at one time owned his own flooring and painting business. He was active with the Shriners. Davis and his wife had recently discussed whether this was to be his last fire season, Vosburg said. Vosburg said her sister is devastated because she had waited until her early 40s to get married. Dennis Davis became a widower 13 years ago. He has two grown daughters from that marriage. "Their relationship was so special because everybody wanted to be around them," said Vosburg, an Idaho Statesman employee. "I just want to say, I don't want it to be him. He was too neat of a guy. What a sad, sad day." Funeral arrangements are pending, she said. Additional information may be obtained online at http://www.inciweb.org/ or http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/klamath or by calling (530) 841-4451.
Officials identified the pilot killed in Monday morning's crash as Dennis Luster Davis, 61, of Boise, Idaho.
Davis was delivering water to firefighters when his helicopter went down in a "heavily wooded mountainous area with very steep and rugged terrain" near the Oregon border, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department.
The helicopter was under contract with the U.S. Forest Service from a company called Idaho Helicopters Inc., based in Boise. Davis was the only person on board.
On Tuesday, Forest Service investigators examined the crash site about 12 miles southeast of Happy Camp.
The aircraft had been carrying a large water container to refill hand-pump backpacks for crews on the ground battling the massive wildfire. Some firefighters had seen the crash and reported it to emergency dispatchers.
Davis' wife, Vicki Vosburg, issued a statement following the crash, describing her husband as a Vietnam War veteran who also had worked as a Life Flight pilot for a Boise hospital. He had planned to quit flying this year and concentrate on a naturopathic medicine business he'd started, she said.
"He was very committed to this being his last year, he was just tired of flying and wanted to help people get better," Vosburg said.
More than 1,100 fire crews were battling the cluster of lightning-sparked fires dubbed the Elk Complex, which have so far burned more than 14 square miles in a remote region just south of the Oregon border. One of the nearest cities is Medford, Ore., about 75 miles north.
The fires, which started July 10, had threatened up to 550 homes near the town of Happy Camp, but none has been destroyed.
About 28 percent of the fire was surrounded Tuesday, and officials expected it to be fully surrounded by Sunday.
Nearly 700 miles to the south, firefighters were aided by cloud cover and damp air Tuesday in battling the nearly 3-week-old blaze in the Los Padres National Forest.
The fire, ignited July 4 by sparks from grinding equipment outside the forest borders, held at about 48 square miles and was 65 percent surrounded. Full containment was expected Aug. 3.
A service of the Associated Press(AP)
Davis was flying a 1968 Bell 205A-1 Helicopter for Idaho Helicopters Inc. and was under contract with the U.S. Forest Service. Davis leaves behind his wife of 12 years, Vicki, and two grown daughters who both live in California.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Forest are investigating the cause of the crash.
From: Blair N. Noel
This information was last updated 10/04/2017
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 09/05/2022
Copyright © 1998 - 2022 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association