More detail on this person: Mike Donovan, 70, of Palm Springs died Tuesday, January 5, 2010 when the helicopter he was piloting was involved in an accident near Redinger Lake in Madera County CA, taking the lives of all four men aboard. Mike was born on July 14, 1939 in Berkeley, Calif. to Dr. Francis A. and Grace Davis Donovan, graduating from Piedmont high in 1957. He attended the University of Wyoming on an athletic scholarship earning his B.S. degree in Education in 1962. Mike served his country as a Naval Aviator from 1962 to 1972 and had attained the rank of lieutenant when honorably discharged. He was a decorated pilot during the Vietnam conflict, serving also in the Western Pacific, San Diego, and Pensacola, FL, where he was a flight instructor. Mike was a pilot's pilot, a veteran aviator who's career spanned 47 years with over 16,000 hours of flight time. His civilian career began in Bishop with Western Helicopters supporting the University of California White Mountain Research Station. He had wide-ranging experience in firefighting & ignition, external cargo long-line and search & rescue and has helped many people over the years. Mike had a long relationship with Landells Aviation and through them had an association with the California Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service. He also had a wide range of assignments including work on the Palm Springs Tramway, Grand Canyon pipeline, exploration & mining, mapping, animal capture & relocation and Emergency Medical Service. Mike was among the first pilots hired by Mercy Air in 1991 and worked with them for 18 years. Flying was his lifelong passion; those who knew him said he was a meticulous pilot, a consummate professional. He was well known for being a quirky perfectionist. Mike was a devoted husband, father, grand-father and friend; he will be truly missed. Mike is survived by his wife of 43 years, Arlene Donovan; son Matthew (Mary Jane) Donovan of El Paso, Texas, son Douglas (Marie) Donovan of Henderson, Nev.; and eight grandchildren. A Memorial Service is planned for Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 11:00 AM at Wiefels Mortuary in Palm Springs, 690 S. Vella Road. Reception will follow. The Donovan family would like to offer their heartfelt condolences to the families who were also involved in this accident. A memorial fund has been set up by The California Association of Professional Scientists for the families of those men.
This information was last updated 10/17/2017
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Date posted on this site: 04/14/2021
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