He was serving as copilot on that flight.
He was survived by his life partner of 14 years, Tom Hay, and his parents who live in Front Royal, Virginia.
He attended Catholic services with his parents until his death.
David helped carry the banner for the [National Gay Pilots Association] ? in the [Millenium March on Washington] ? in 2000, marching in uniform. After walking the parade route, he walked it again with the [Gay and Lesbian Employees of American Airlines] ? (GLEAM), saying that he wished to support the gay flight attendants who had supported him in coming out as a gay pilot. He also helped raise money for the [Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League] ?.
Paul Poux, son of a State Department official and a childhood friend since the seventh grade, recalls that Charlebois had a love of Paris since the two were children there together. "He would say that when he was on his deathbed he didn't want to regret not making that last trip over there."
FIRST OFFICER DAVID CHARLEBOIS
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2001
Memorial service for First Officer David Charlebois will be held at:
ST MATTHEW'S CATHEDRAL
1725 RHODE ISLAND AVE, N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 22036
The cathedral is easily accessible by metro from the DuPont Circle Station-Red Line.
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Memorial Fund Established to Honor
October 26, 2001
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has established a memorial fund in honor of David M. Charlebois, an alumnus who was a member of a flight crew killed in the Sept. 11 terrorism attack. He graduated from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Fla. campus in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science.
Charlebois was the first officer on American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon after being hijacked. There were no survivors among the 64 people on board.
A statement released on the University’s Web site said, “We mourn the loss of David Charlebois and the other thousands of American casualties. We believe the most appropriate way to honor him and his dedication to aviation is in establishing the David M. Charlebois Memorial Fund for Aviation Safety.”
The Fund will be used to provide scholarships for Aeronautical Science students at Embry-Riddle and to support research in aviation safety and security. Examples of research projects include evaluating new methods to improve the performance and retention of airport baggage screeners, identifying the factors that screeners use in the decision-making process to search luggage, and creating a systems model to predict the potential for passenger disruptive behavior using elements of airport physical structure, passenger processing, organizational demands, and environmental stressors.
Designated contributions may be made payable to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 600 South Clyde Morris Boulevard, Daytona Beach, Florida, 32114-3900. For additional information, contact Harry H. Jennings, senior director of development, at 386.226.6197 or [email@example.com].
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| CAROL LOLLIS|
Theresa Charlebois of Northampton stands in her Walnut Street home near a photograph of her nephew, David Charlebois, who was the co-pilot of one of the hijacked planes Tuesday.
Co-Pilot's Family Ties in Northampton
By JUDITH CAMERON, Staff Writer
Thursday, September 13, 2001 -- NORTHAMPTON - A Walnut Street woman got the call all people dread Tuesday when her brother phoned to confirm that, as feared, his son had been co-pilot of the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon while flying his regular route.
Now, a photograph of David Charlebois, wearing a blue jacket with pilot wings pinned to the breast pocket, sits before a burning candle in Theresa Charlebois' kitchen.
She created the shrine Tuesday after her brother, Roland Charlebois, a former Northampton resident, called to say his son David, 39, died in one of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
Members of the Charlebois family have lived in Northampton for nearly a century and for years ran a well-known mechanic shop on Walnut Street.
David Charlebois' grandfather, John Charlebois Sr., a mechanic who founded the Auto Infirmary in 1912, was celebrated for teaching Amelia Earhart auto mechanics in 1918. Earhart was a student at Smith College and studied with Charlebois a year before her ill-fated flight around the world.
Roland Charlebois, who now lives in Arlington, graduated from the former St. Michael's High School and left Northampton to attend college and work in the diplomatic corps.
Theresa Charlebois said her nephew David was a good cook and on a visit to Northampton a few years ago, high on his agenda was a trip to a kitchen store and dinner at Eastside Grill.
During that visit with his aunt, she said he raved about the Harry Potter books and urged her to read the tales of the young wizard.
She said David frequently cooked dinner for his parents. Monday night, he had joined them for dinner.
According to an account in the Washington Post, David Charlebois lived in Washington, D.C., with his domestic partner. The Advocate, a national news magazine for the gay community, said he'd been with his partner, Tom Hay, for 14 years. It also said he worked for domestic-partner benefits for pilots, and was a member of a gay pilots association.
Theresa Charlebois said her nephew was known for his charm and good manners. She said he was always affectionate to his parents. "He always kissed his mother and father goodbye, ever since he was a little fella," she said.
She also recalled a visit to her brother in Arlington about two years ago. She said she was getting out of the back seat of a car when suddenly a hand appeared. "It was David and he said, 'May I help you ma'am,' " she said.
That visit in 1999 was the last time she saw her nephew.
David Charlebois met his death in an American Airlines plane doing a job his aunt said he'd wanted since he was a young boy.
A Family Gets Tragic News
Theresa Charlebois, 76, said she called her brother around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, soon after she learned of the attacks. A distraught Vivian Charlebois, David's mother, answered. "I can't talk right now," she said. "There are people coming in and out of the house."
An hour later Roland Charlebois called with the dreaded news.
"The powers that be came to see Roland and Vivian and said that David was one of the best pilots they ever had and that he died as a hero," said Theresa. "In a sense it didn't surprise me because there was a feeling that something happened to David that day."
Theresa Charlebois said her nephew graduated from a flight school in Florida and had been a pilot for 10 years, first as a corporate pilot, then joining American Airlines.
She said he loved flying, and told her it was beautiful up there, "especially when you're going through those clouds you can see angles all over the place." Whenever she voiced skepticism about flying, David would say, 'Auntie, it's the safest place in the world,' said Charlebois.
When he flew, she said he usually carried a small statue of the Madonna and child. He also carried a box of tools to make any last-minute adjustments on the plane.
"He had a set of tools he was proud of and he always checked his plane before it left," she said. Her nephew double-checked the plane after the aviation mechanics made a sweep to ensure safety.
Charlebois' typical route was Washington's Dulles Airport to Los Angeles, but for vacation he usually flew to Paris, where he was born during one of his father's overseas assignment.
She said David was fond of French pastry, claiming, she said, "if everyone ate French pastry there would be peace in the world."
David's death has shattered his family, though Theresa Charlebois said their faith has brought them comfort.
"God didn't make this happen. God doesn't make these things happen. It's man's inhumanity to man," she said.
She believes David prayed in his final moments. She said he attended Mass every Sunday.
She said she harbors no ill will for her nephew's killers. "I don't feel any hatred. I feel sorry for them. I don't think hatred is going to get anybody anywhere. People take hold of it so much quicker than love," she said. "Hatred to me is a waste of time," she said.
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