This article was first published at Fire Aviation.
A former wildland firefighter with experience on helitack and fire crews was killed in the crash of a helicopter in a Dallas suburb Friday.
After six years on the Teton Interagency Helitack crew in Jackson, Wyoming, Lora Trout left to fulfill her dream of flying helicopters full-time and return to fight fire as a pilot. Prior to her work in helitack she worked as a wildland firefighter on the White River National Forest in Colorado and the Boise National Forest in Idaho. She also worked as a helitack squad boss on the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.
She became licensed as a helicopter pilot and got a job as a tour pilot, then achieved the next step, becoming certified as flight instructor.
Lora was giving a lesson to Ty Wallis Friday when the tail boom separated from the Robinson R44, (N514CD), causing the helicopter to crash and catch fire in a vacant lot in Rowlett, Texas. Both were killed.
“Lora was a dear friend, dedicated coworker, physical fitness leader, and an immediate positive influence to all she knew,” said a statement from the Bridger-Teton National Forest. “Her charismatic wit and strength were evident in all she did, particularly in her passion for aviation and wildland firefighting. To those that knew her, she was a “go to” for advice, help, and humor.”
In a series of Tweets, Elan Head, a helicopter pilot and contributor to Vertical Magazine, said Lora was qualified as a Helicopter Manager, Short Haul, and was an EMT. Ms. Head described Lora as a friend and a “bad ass.” Check out the Twitter thread below (or see it on Twitter).
🧵: I’d like to tell you about Lora Trout, the pilot who died in the helicopter crash in Texas on Friday. She was a friend of mine and beloved by some of the best people I know. pic.twitter.com/6SVuO6xQyT
— Elan Head (@elanhead) March 29, 2022
In a YouTube video, Juan Browne said the main rotor struck the tail boom, causing the separation of the tail rotor assembly.
It appears that the only photos without Lora showing a big smile are when she has her back turned.
Our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and coworkers of Lora.