BVI News

Pilot who dies in USVI helicopter crash a major friend to Anegada

Maria Rodriguez is a helicopter pilot in the US Virgin Islands. (Photo provided)

The death of pilot and aircraft crash victim, Maria Rodriguez is being described as a major blow to residents of Anegada here in the British Virgin Islands.

Rodriguez is one of four persons who perished in a helicopter crash in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands on Monday afternoon. The other three deceased are all reportedly related to each other — a father, wife, and their son.

According to Ninth District Representative, Vincent Wheatley, Rodriguez is a friend of Anegada who was closely connected to the sister island for more than two decades.

Wheatley told our news centre that after the September 2017 hurricanes devastated the BVI, Rodriguez spearheaded relief efforts for the sister island — using her helicopter to transport supplies to Anegada.

“I know she will be greatly and dearly missed by every single member of the Anegada community. The relief [supplies] came straight from Puerto Rico and she used her helicopter at no cost,” Minister Wheatley explained.

Rodriguez was employed to the USVI’s Caribbean Buzz Helicopters which offers a range of travel and leisure helicopter services.

According to the St Thomas Source, Rodriguez was piloting the helicopter at the time of Monday’s crash.

She along with the now-deceased passengers reportedly left the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas and crashed in the Botany Bay area. The cause of the fatal crash is not yet clear.


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  1. LCS says:

    RIP and condolences to the families of the pilot and the passengers. It is sad to see good individuals leave us like this, unexpectedly.

    Like 69
  2. Christopher says:

    So sad. What a wonderful woman. My wife and I are truly saddened. All our prayers to her family during this awful time. Rest in Peace.

    Like 47
    • Jacque Menna says:

      We were very fond of Maria. She was a wonderful person with a huge personality. She was alway conscientious and caring. If it I weren’t for her services it would have been extremely hard to get to St John as my husband has special requirements. She was not only an excellent pilot, but a treasured friend. We are sending positive thoughts to her family.

      Like 10
  3. Ex Island Host peter Island Resort says:

    Very very sad news for me personally, hard working woman with a personality like no other. The good thing is she died doing what she loved best. R.I.P

    Like 27
    Dislike 1
  4. no says:

    this breaks my heart, she flew us in food when nobody else cared or were too busy to be bothered with Anegada.
    Goodbye Maria x

  5. The Truth says:

    A horrible tragedy. RIP to the lives lost.

    Like 13
  6. Clay Thomas says:

    Thoughts and prayers to Captain Rodriguez, her family, to Anegada and to the family of 3 aboard. What a generous soul she seemed to be, may her and the victims Rest In Peace. Myself and friends that are yacht crew were at Botany Bay within minutes of the crash. Also a big salute to the response and recovery crews from St. Thomas that dealt with the tragic situation in some extremely challenging terrain.

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  7. Rubber Duck says:

    How sad. She once landed on a beach near me as I walked my dog. She looked just like Carolyn Munro in the Bond movie. I had a very enjoyable chat with her and she seemed like a super lady. RIP.

    Like 21
  8. Disbelief says:

    I remembered her quite well. My prayers to her family and family of the passengers.

    This reminds me of the Kobe Bryant crash.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  9. BVI Officer says:

    Condolences to both families involved in such a tragic event. I personally knew Maria, a very kind and pleasant person, always smiling and very helpful in any way she could be. I remembered her even taking us for a short ride in one of her helicopters around VG, what an experience that was. Most times Maria would greet you with a hug and a smile. I too remember her at VG airport bringing supplies after the hurricane and she also served as guest transportation for most of the outlying islands/resorts of Virgin Gorda…Very Very sad…will be greatly missed. God’s confort to Nick and the rest of the family.

    Like 18
  10. sad says:

    what a terrific lady and a fabulous pilot and individual, she died doing the thing she loved the most. My sincere condolences go out to all who were lost in this tragic accident.

    Like 13
  11. Great Loss says:

    The aviation community, and our island families have suffered a great loss. Maria was a kind and generous soul, always with a kind word and a smile, no matter how busy she was. We will miss you, my dear woman. Rest now.

    Like 10
    • former classmate says:

      Such a shame to hear about this terrible incident.
      My prayers go out to the family, her children, her husband, and her brother Enrique.
      My prayers to the passengers also, and their families.
      Maria was such a joyful spirit, and always smiling, she will be missed.
      Jah Bless

  12. Former BVI Resort Manager says:

    I knew Maria quite well and flew with her often as she was bringing or picking up guests from the VG resort I managed. A lovely lady, fantastic pilot, with a heart as big as the sky she flew in. What a tragic loss, condolences to Nick and her family.

    Like 14
  13. WOW says:

    Truly sorry to hear about this.

  14. RIP says:

    Rest on my good friend. You will be in our hearts forever. Condolences to all the families, may the father comfort you as you go through your time of bereavement.

  15. Bishop John Cohen says:

    Maria was a personal friend, I remember over twenty years ago my wife and I stayed at her home in St Thomas where I had pasta in pesto sauce for the first time. We shared some great memories together. She will be greatly missed. May you soul Rest In Peace.

  16. Antilles Helicopters says:

    Devastatingly Tragic… We shared the sky and an Angel’s view of paradise for many years with Maria and co. and were fortunate and honored to do so.
    Sincere condolences the the families of the bereaved. RIP Wirly-Girl

  17. Vera H, Marietta GA says:

    My sister is heartbroken over this crash! She lives in the same subdivision as the family and knows Daniel well. She and Daniel were on the board together. May they all Rest In Peace! So tragic and sad.

  18. former classmate says:

    people lost their lives…..IN AN ACCIDENT.
    Maria had 20 years of flight experience, and countless hours. To the BLACK NATIONALIST guy that made that rude, and un called for remark.
    You may need a good “ISLAND BEAT DOWN”, stop being so insensative to the families of the lives lost.
    Your comments are not needed on this site.

  19. Heedit says:

    Sad to hear. Please never travel with your whole family on board. Leave one behind for the next trip.

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