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Bob Kellie

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Found this posted on HeliOps Facebook page.




"It is with much sorrow and sadness that I am posting today to advise that Bob Kellie died peacefully at home on Monday, January 18, 2016 due to cancer.

Bob lived his life on his own terms and felt fortunate to be able to fulfill his passion of flying as a commercial helicopter pilot. He loved to give back to the aviation industry and took advantage of his spare time to encourage and teach students who also shared that passion. “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies....It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.” (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)

Near the end he reflected back and realized how fortunate he had been to have had a very full and varied life; his only real regret was that it had to end too soon.

Many of you on Facebook are fellow pilots, prior students and friends who came into Bob’s life at various times. Bob was very thankful for all of you who were a part of his journey and he wanted me to express his wish for you, that you realize the importance of enjoying every moment of your journey and appreciate where you are now, rather than focusing on how far you have to go, as one never knows when it could all be taken away.

“A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” I sincerely hope that Bob left you with many wonderful memories that will continue into the future.


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This is very tragic. Bob was truly one of the characters and legends of the modern day helicopter industry. Like was said on Heliops, he operated on his own terms. He tried hard to start an association to represent pilots, AME's, low timers and likely the companies themselves. He had nothing to gain personally, he was more than successful in his own right.


I would bet that he was more than instrumental in starting a whole lot of low time pilots careers, mine included. Its too bad so many aircrew have left this forum to add to my comments. I would encourage anyone from the past who used to comment on Vertical to do so. I know a lot of people still watch the forum but quit commenting.


At any rate, like Bob used to say of other fallen aircrew,

"God's Speed"

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RIP Bob... a real loss to industry and to his friends and family...


Maybe I'm living under a rock but I did not know he was ill and it seems like just a few months ago I was speaking with him and his energy made it seem like he was 25 still in his mind. At any rate pilots (and people) like Bob were always few and far between and becoming rarer as our industry matures. We are all lessened by this loss.



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OMG I am so sorry for the friends and family left behind. I did not know Bob was in any kind of health trouble and when I saw this thread I thought maybe people were discussing his character rather than him leaving us far too soon. I only met Bob maybe a half dozen times but was so impressed by him and his experience. Condolences to his family and all that knew him. Far far too soon!



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Wow. I am very sad to hear this news. I have not kept in touch with Bob for a number of years but I have many fond memories working with him at Tundra back in the day. He gave me a break by giving me a room to stay in when I was hired at Tundra straight out of school and my early 20s. I rented his whole apartment from him later. I worked with him nearly 10 years. He was a great guy with a big heart and a great pilot. I know he will be missed by many. RIP Bob. I will not forget my time spent on this planet with you.


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Really sad to see this. Bob bought me lunch back when I was trying to figure out whether or not to bite the bullet and jump into this racket. The old bugger with his optimism and rosy glasses sold it to me pretty good and in I jumped, lol. I say that jokingly, really he told me the good and the bad and his advice was sound and much appreciated. He was remarkably successful and had time for most, except perhaps for the bellyachers! Thanks Bob for all you've done, we will miss you. Sincere condolences to your friends and loved ones. RIP.

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