Osvil “Ozzie” York, a pilot for more than 60 years who was well-known in the helicopter community, passed away March 25 in Tulsa, Okla., following a brief illness. York, 92, had recently driven from his home in Oklahoma to attend the annual meeting of the Twirly Birds — of which he was a long-time member — held during the HAI Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ozzie began his extensive flying career in 1941 with the Canadian Air Force as a pilot and flight instructor and later with the Army Air Corp in 1945. He soloed in a Bell 47D in 1948 and during his career, he amassed more than 15,000 hours of flight time in civil and military airplanes and helicopters around the world.
His many accomplishments include almost 60 years as a pilot and mechanic for Allied Helicopters, flying and maintaining aircraft from Alaska to Florida. A true helicopter pioneer, Ozzie first joined Twirly Birds in 1969 and had been a member of the Quiet Birdmen since 1957. In 2003, the Twirly Birds bestowed upon Mr. York the Les Morris lifetime achievement award for his outstanding accomplishments during his lifetime. Ozzie York will be remembered as consummate professional with a polite and humble reputation by all who knew him, Twirly Birds officials note.
Services will be held in Tulsa at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at Moore’s Southlawn Chapel. A guest book is available on Moore’s website
Twirly Birds is an international organization founded in 1945 by pioneering pilots of helicopters and other vertical takeoff aircraft. For more information: TwirlyBirds.org