Your IP: 34.204.191.31 United States Near: Houston, Texas, United States

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This article is an orphan, as few or no other articles link to it. Please introduce links to this page from related articles; suggestions may be available. (November 2007) This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2008) B. Leroy Tatom, Jr., was a helicopter pilot. Leroy Tatom was born February 19, 1952, in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Dorothy and Bernard Tatom. He graduated from McLain High School in 1970 and began flying in 1972. He studied at Oklahoma State University before joining the United States Navy in the early '70s. A Navy corpsman, Tatom was stationed in Japan during the Vietnam War. In addition, he taught English as a second language off base. His other interests included martial arts, guitar playing, and baseball. When he returned to the United States, Tatom learned how to fly helicopters from Bennie Blalock in Norman, Oklahoma. The type of craft he flew included single engine, twin engine airplanes to the "Baby" Bell and the long range, high tech craft - jet ranger helicopters for over 30 years. Leroy was a pilot for Instapipe Industries and PHI offshore oil rigs from the late 1970s to mid 80's. He flew part-time for television station KOCO channel 5, in Oklahoma City, and was a news pilot for KTBC channel 7, in Austin, Texas. He was one of the early news helicopter pilots for KWTV channel 9 in Oklahoma City, during which time he provided an aerial platform for coverage of many historic events. On April 19, 1995, Leroy had arrived at work, just preparing to leave the building to get the helicopter out of the KWTV hangar when the Murrah Building was blown up. Within minutes he and a cameraman were in the air providing the only immediate aerial coverage of the destruction. He also followed tornadoes (F3-F5) during the May 3, 1999 outbreak providing much needed information about catastrophic events in many cities along the tornadoes path. Another time he received national coverage for his rescue of a woman stranded on her car in a flood in Oklahoma City, flying the woman to safety as she dangled from a line from the helicopter. Leroy served his profession as founding member and former president of the National Broadcast Pilots Association writing articles such as "Should Pilots Report" and "The Bomb and the TFR". He was also a certified flight instructor. At the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, Leroy was a speaker for the "First Person–Stories of Hope" series that allowed family members, survivors and rescue workers to share their remarkable stories. According to the Tulsa World, after his time at KWTV 9, Tatom worked for Life Flight in Tulsa. When a lung condition made him unable to fly, Tatom began studying at Tulsa Community College to become a respiratory therapist. He had his provisional license by the time of his death, and worked part-time for the Saint Francis Health System. External links Should Pilots Report? by Leroy Tatom The Bomb and the TFR by Leroy Tatom Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum Vanderbilt Television News Archives, CBS Evening News for Wednesday, May 05, 1999, Oklahoma, Kansas / Tornadoes / Storm Chasers