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Copter crash victims were celebrating 25th anniversary

LAS VEGAS -- A Kansas couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary were among five people who died in the crash of a tour helicopter in a remote canyon outside Las Vegas.

Residents of the small, western Kansas town of Utica learned Thursday that Delwin and Tamara Chapman died when the helicopter crashed Wednesday during a sunset tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam.


Ron Solze, whose son is married to one of the Chapmans' four daughters, said the couple went to Las Vegas to celebrate their anniversary and renew their wedding vows.

Solze says Delwin Chapman ran a construction company and his wife recently closed her hairstyling shop. He says they were well-known and well-liked in Utica, a town of about 160 people.

Authorities say all five bodies were recovered from the crash site Thursday. The area is accessible only by helicopter and four-wheel-drive.

Meanwhile, the family of the pilot, Landgon Nield, released a statement to The Associated Press. It reads in part:

"Landon was a beloved husband and father. He is the father of two wonderful children. Landon was raised in a family of 14 children. He was a loving and caring man. The Nield family's thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones in the terrible, tragic accident. The family would like to thank the emergency and rescue personnel who responded to the accident and to thank the park ranger that stayed at the wreck site all night until the bodies could be recovered."

Nield's family set up a Wells Fargo fund in his name Thursday to help his wife and kids.

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