Family: helicopter pilot died doing what he always wanted to do

WOOSTER, OH - As federal authorities try to determine the cause of a deadly helicopter crash outside Toledo, the family of the pilot says their only solace is that the Wooster native was doing exactly what he always wanted to do.

The mother of 32-year-old Tyson Snyder told Fox 8, "He wanted to try anything dangerous from a very young age and he lived up to that with his choices in vocation and in the military."

According to Julie Snyder, her son loved the challenge of his job as a helicopter pilot inspecting power lines. “He really loved it and he was good at his job, he was good at flying helicopters. It was his passion and he got to fulfill his passion," said Mrs, Snyder.

Tyson Snyder and a colleague, 62-year-old Jeff Fluharty, were killed on Monday, when their chopper crashed in a farm field, just south of the Ohio Turnpike in Wood County. First Energy says Tyson Snyder and Jeff Fluharty were contractors, inspecting the utility company’s transmission lines at the time of the crash. The FAA and the NTSB are now trying to determine the cause of the crash.

Tyson Snyder was a 2004 graduate of Wooster High School. His parents say he had been deeply affected by the events of 9/11, and that's why they were not surprised when he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps after graduating.

During his eight years as a Marine, Sgt. Tyson Snyder served in Iraq and Afghanistan, but his heart was never far from home. His sister, Ashley Escola told Fox 8, “I'll never forget the day, I was pregnant with my daughter and he called me on Mother's Day from Afghanistan and he said he was waiting to make those calls to me and my mom."

After completing his service to the country, Tyson Snyder began training to become a helicopter pilot and then got his dream job inspecting power lines.

"I think the adrenaline rush, he loved the challenge and he loved being in the air and he loved the difficulty of it, but he loved that he was good at it, I mean he worked so hard," said Tyson’s girlfriend, Kalli Hugus.

Tyson Snyder's parents says that after Tyson made it home safely after fighting in the War on Terror, they never suspected that they would get the knock on the door that every parent dreads. His father, Jeff Snyder, told us, “One thing that I would like to say is 'hug your kids, tell them that you love them because you never know, it may be the last time, so hug your kids and tell them that you love them.’"

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