PRESCOTT, AZ — Shortly after celebrating his 30th birthday, Dylan Horn was killed in a helicopter crash near Galliano, Louisiana on Jan. 14.
Horn was a veteran, with ties to Arizona. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.
Nick Mertes was his classmate at Embry-Riddle thanks to the GI Bill. The two went to flight school together. Mertes remembers Horn as a “go getter, a kind of passionate guy.”
"We were in Arizona from 2015 to 2018,” says Mertes. “We both became instructors for 2017 and continued our college while instructing there at the flight school.”
Horn quickly became a flight instructor at Embry-Riddle. After graduation, he flew tours in Florida and recently, Louisiana.
Days ago, Metes got the call that Horn died in a helicopter crash. A passenger on board also died after officials say the helicopter nose-dived and sunk into mud after impact. Horn recently became a new father.
“It's hard and it never gets easier,” says Metes. “You know, as you continue on this career and in helicopters, there is an inherent risk, and we take it every day when we fly. But we fly for a greater purpose. Most times, we all accept that risk.”
Dylan Horn’s mother, Lori Rivero, tells me he was the most dynamic young man you could ever meet.
She says her son really loved the beauty of Arizona. She says he loved going out and exploring and challenging his Jeep to get through the mud and go a little higher. She says he made great friends in Arizona.
She tells me heaven gained an angel too early.
Metes message to Horn’s family: "I hope they find peace, knowing that Dylan is now with God”.
The NTSB will continue to investigate the crash.
Meanwhile, friends and family of Dylan’s created a scholarship fund in his honor.
It’s for those who have dreams of flying helicopters, just like Dylan.