Thomas Paul Grady worked for Air America, Inc. from May 29, 1968 until his separation form the company on June 30, 1975.

He was a rotary-wing aircraft pilot and was based out of Saigon, South Vietnam. Upon his return to civilian life, he became a helicopter pilot with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. On the night of July 24, 1977, Grady and his co-pilot, Theodore Hellmers, were operating a Bell 205 helicopter in support of efforts to fight The Middle Fire, a 3,800 acre wild fire that had broken out in the Angeles National Forest near Los Angeles, California. During a nighttime landing at the Mill Creek Heliport, the Bell 205 piloted by Grady and Hellmers, suffered a mid-air collision with a United States Forest Service Bell 212 helicopter.

The collision seriously wounded Hellmers and the two pilots of the Bell 212, and killed Thomas P. Grady.

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