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The staff at Skies and Vertical (Skies’ sister publication) have been devastated to learn of the death of Guy Maher, one of Vertical’s most frequent and beloved contributors. Guy was killed when the plane he was piloting crashed on its way from Statesville Regional Airport to Twin Lakes Airport in North Carolina on Apr. 22. He was the only person on board.
“All of us at MHM Publishing are shocked and incredibly saddened by the news of Guy’s death,” said Vertical and Skies publisher Mike Reyno. “Guy was a valuable and respected member of the aviation community. Through his contributions to Vertical, Vertical 911, and Skies magazines, as well as the educational videos he produced through his company Lanier Media, Guy dedicated his life to helping to educate and inform the helicopter and fixed-wing communities.”
Guy began flying in 1968, and held an airline transport pilot certificate for helicopters and a commercial pilot certificate for single- and multi-engine airplanes, and gliders. He was also a certified flight instructor, qualified to teach single- and multi-engine airplane, helicopter, and instrument flight. In all, he logged over 17,000 hours, including a long period as an air medical pilot for AirCare Wake Forest Baptist Health.
In addition to his career in aviation, Guy soon embarked on a parallel and complementary career in writing and multimedia production. He began his work as a photojournalist in 1980, writing and shooting for General Aviation News. Over the years, he also contributed to North Carolina Aviator, Rotor & Wing, Southern Aviator, Air Ambulance, Air Progress, Helicopter World, Twin Cessna Flyers and Cessna Pilot’s Association magazines.
When Vertical launched in 2002, he was one of the very first people to join the MHM Publishing family, providing a story in Vertical‘s second issue in 2003. Over the next 16 years, he regularly contributed his in-depth pilot reports, operator profiles, and safety-focused stories, and was part of the Vertical team attending the most recent Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Guy was an incredibly talented writer, giving our readers a real inside-the-cockpit feel through his stories,” said Oliver Johnson, editor-in-chief of Vertical. “Reading his work, you felt like you were the one doing the flying. He had a rare gift. While he never pulled punches with honest criticism in his reports, his enthusiasm and love for aviation always shone through.”
Guy won numerous awards for his work over the years, including HAI’s Excellence in Communications Award for lifetime achievement in the creative dissemination of information regarding the international helicopter community.
“In the very small field of aviation communicators, Guy stood out amongst his peers,” said Dan Sweet, director, public relations and communications at HAI. “It was easy to see that he had a passion for all forms of flying, and his advocacy of the industry was equally apparent in his columns and stories. The breadth of his aviation knowledge and experience, coupled with a keen eye for photography and deft use of language, made his stories approachable and enjoyable for his readers. HAI joins in the industry in mourning his loss.”
Vertical and Skies publisher Mike Reyno said Guy’s colleagues will sorely miss his wit and charm, “he had both in abundance,” he said. “Our deepest condolences go to Guy’s wife, Staci, and to all his family, and friends.”