Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America

Aviation journalist William David Wagstaff, 49, died of complications from surgery on February 8 2004. From 1988 to 2003 he was a full-time editor at Aviation International News and its subsidiary, HAI Convention News. He was a regular at Heli-Expo press conferences, where his peers could always count on him to place the spin and hype in a more reality-based context. Bill is best remembered for articles ranging from pilot medical issues to aerial firefighting. One of his cherished memories was a cross-country trip he took in a Sikorsky helicopter for an assignment. His knowledge of the helicopter industry and its rich history was encyclopedic. He wrote AIN’s monthly column on rotorcraft and kept tabs on what meant most to people who operate helicopters day-to-day. His writing was engaging and fresh and his “leads” were always memorable. According to his friends at work, his office walls were a museum of movie memorabilia and esoteric posters, including a World War II propaganda piece showing sailors tugging on anchor lines and urging us to “Grow Hemp for the War.” To borrow one of Bill’s own phrases, “He was one of the good ones.” 

AHS Update: Vertiflite Spring 2004