A pilot killed in a helicopter crash Wednesday morning, had been flying for San Joaquin Helicopters for several years.
Erik Josephson, Operations Manager of the company, says they contracted her out often to fly, and she loved doing it.
"It hurts. It hurts a lot," said Josephson. "She was energetic, always willing to get out there, always willing to go fly. And, she loved doing it and wanted to get in there and make it her life's work."
The woman pilot, we've learned, was in her 60's. She was returning to the Delano Airport, trying to escape the thick fog rolling in, when she crashed.
"She encountered what we believe was some fog and possibly became disoriented. We're not sure at this point in time," said Josephson.
Records show, she was flying a helicopter built in 1975. It's registered to Maricopa Helicopters out of Fresno. But, Josephson says his company was hired to operate and maintain it.
"Just use it like it's one of our aircraft and take care of it like it's one of ours," said Josephson.
17 News searched the National Transportation Safety Board database. It shows San Joaquin Helicopters' last fatal crash happened in Lancaster in 2005 during a chemical spray. Their report shows the engine lost power.
While the cause of Wednesday's crash is still unknown, the dangers of the job are even more evident.
"We remind everybody that this is for real for all of our mechanics, all of our pilots. You don't get to put another quarter in. So, everybody understands that," said Josephson.
Josephson did not know how long the female pilot had been flying. He did say she was not from the Delano area.