Death of a News Pilot


We’re sad to report that WABC New York helicopter pilot Paul M. Smith was killed Sunday after being struck by a cab in Manhattan. The New York Times reports that Smith was leaving a birthday celebration for a friend at a restaurant when the cab jumped the curb and struck him. 

Smith was a Vietnam veteran with an Emmy to his credit. The Times mentions how he was up in the sky on Sept. 11 when the second plane buzzed past the chopper. WABC colleague John J. DelGiorno, who was in the chopper with Smith that day, said Smith was a calming presence in such situations, thanks in part to his military background.  

The WABC Website has a nice remembrance from anchor Diana Williams, who mentions that all New York stations are keeping their choppers on the ground today out of respect for Paul.