Family remembers man killed in helicopter crash as 'gentle,' 'loving'
By By Jacob deNobel and Times Staff Writer
Oct 25, 2014 | 10:59 PM
Christopher David Parsons, who was killed in a midair collision between a helicopter and a plane near the Frederick Municipal Airport on Thursday, was a passionate aviation enthusiast, according to his mother-in-law, Tina Grimes, of Taneytown.
"Everyone would talk about his gentle demeanor. If you look at his interests, he was most definitely a man's man," Grimes said. "He loved flying, and it was something that was very important to him."
Parsons, 29, of Westminster, was an instructor for Advanced Helicopter Concepts, a helicopter training company based in Frederick, according to a statement released by the company Friday.
Those in the helicopter with Parsons, William Jenkins, 47, of Colorado, and Breandan J. MacFawn, 35, of Cumberland, were also killed in the crash, according to police.
Scott V. Graeves, 55, of Brookeville, and Gilbert L. Porter, 75, of Sandy Spring, were in the Cirrus SR 22 airplane and were released from the Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown on Thursday evening, according to police.
Grimes said Parsons first developed his love of flying while he worked on helicopters in the armed services. Parsons joined the military out of high school in 2003 or 2004, according to his wife, Ashlee Parsons. He served three tours in Iraq as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
After returning home, he graduated from the Community College of Baltimore County and continued his aviation education. Grimes said he had spent time in California further studying aircraft before returning to Maryland.
"He and Ashlee did a lot of flights together," Grimes said. "They flew in everything from helicopters to hot-air balloons. He loved it up there."
Ashlee Parsons said that after Christoper proposed, the two of them took a hot-air balloon ride to celebrate the occasion. Ashlee said Christopher was the most loving and caring person she had ever met.
"God had blessed such a strong blessing of love between Ashlee and Chris," Grimes said. "He was a wonderful husband and a fantastic son-in-law. His loving and caring nature was unmatched. You wouldn't find anyone who knew him who would even think of saying anything different."
Police have not identified who was piloting the helicopter when it collided with the plane shortly after 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Maryland State Police.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration, said NTSB air safety investigator Brian Rayner.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Fletcher Funeral Home, at 254 E. Main St. in Westminster, according to Parson's obituary on the Fletcher Funeral Home website.