On May 27, 2019, Charles Eric Benson and his friend and colleague, Jeff Babcock, tragically died in a plane crash in Whitehorse, Canada. Eric and Jeff were flying from Minnesota to Alaska bringing home a new airplane that Eric had just purchased.
Eric Benson was a husband, father, friend and colleague. He stood for teamwork. He was always willing to help anybody who needed it.
As a decorated military veteran, including the Bronze Star among many others, Eric served for 25 years in both the U.S. Air Force and in the U.S. Army in a variety of assignments. From 1993-1994 he attended and graduated from the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Qualification and the Aviation Officer Basic Courses at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He then served as a UH-60 Army Aviator, Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Brigade Aviation Element, and an Aviation Maintenance Company Commander. Eric’s active duty career culminated in December of 2007, with the 10th Mountain Division while serving as a Battalion Executive Officer for the General Support Aviation Battalion at Fort Drum, New York.
Eric’s second career was with the National Park Service. Eric served as the NPS Alaska Region Safety Manager. In this capacity he received the NPS Director’s Safety and Health Achievement Award.
Eric will be deeply missed.
Eric is survived by his wife Winona and daughters Brittany and Kirsten. A financial contribution will help cover memorial costs and other needs of the family. If you know others who would like to make a donation to honor Eric, please pass the word along.