Monroe Smith had been part of the Action News team through U.S. Helicopters for over 20 years.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Funeral arrangements were held Tuesday for pilot Monroe Smith, an Action News team member who died in last month's Chopper 6 crash.
The funeral service began at 10 a.m. at the Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia on what would have been Smith's 69th birthday.
"My father has always been truly himself, what do I mean by that? His personality was never altered regardless of the person he met," said his son, Trevor.
Smith was a graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and a native son of Philadelphia. He was also an Army pilot, a dad, and had a "quiet cool" about him. He was a husband to Rosalyn, the father of three sons and one stepdaughter and a grandfather of eight.
"He was a military man through and through," said Trevor Smith.
Smith was known to spend his time volunteering and helping young people interested in aviation. Monroe stood as an example.
"Believe me, he made all of us a better person, and from this day forward we are gonna have to continue Monroe's legacy. I wish he was sitting out here right now, 'cause I miss that smile," said Pete Kane, a former news photographer.
Chris Dougherty, an Action News photographer, also died in the Chopper 6 crash. His funeral was held on December 28, and dozens gathered to mourn the devoted father.
Smith had been part of the Action News team through U.S. Helicopters for over 20 years. Dougherty had been part of the crew for 18 years.
"If you ever met this guy he was just amazing," said his son, Monroe Smith Jr.
The pair were heading back from an assignment at the Jersey shore around 8 p.m. on December 19, 2023, when Chopper 6 crashed.
The helicopter crashed in a heavily wooded area of the Wharton State Forest in Washington Township, New Jersey.
NTSB investigators say the final report on what happened could take up to two years to complete.
Both Dougherty and Smith have since been remembered as devoted friends, people who would lend a helping hand, and men with a bright light inside of them.
"Fare winds and following seas, Father. You no longer need to fly on borrowed wings. You are loved and you will be missed," said Trevor Smith.
WATCH | Friends pay tribute to pilot, photographer killed in Chopper 6 crash