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HAROLD BUCHOLTZ, BUSINESSMAN, COPTER PILOT

Services for Harold L. Bucholtz, 67, of Williamsville, former owner of Bucholtz Aviation and Heussler Air Service, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in Salem United Church of Christ, 114 Morgan St., City of Tonawanda. Burial will be in Elmlawn Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.

Bucholtz died Monday (Sept. 25, 2000) in Sisters Hospital after a long illness.

Born in Niagara Falls, Bucholtz formerly owned and operated Bucholtz Transmission. Most recently, he owned Empire Torque Converter in Niagara Falls.

From 1987 to 1994, he owned an eight-acre heliport on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo as well as Niagara Air Center in Niagara Falls.

Bucholtz was a helicopter pilot for Mercy Flight, the Erie County and Niagara County sheriff's departments and several local news stations.

In 1989, he flew a helicopter for David Copperfield when the illusionist took a fiery tumble over Niagara Falls on a raft. Copperfield, who was chained to a burning raft and pushed over the falls into the Niagara River, emerged moments later, dangling from a rope attached to a helicopter that was flown by Bucholtz.

Bucholtz also piloted the helicopter that pop singer Michael Jackson used to land in Rich Stadium during Jackson's 1984 "Victory Tour."

Before he turned to flying helicopters, Bucholtz enjoyed racing stock cars, hydroplanes and motorcycles.

He was a trustee of Salem United Church of Christ.

Surviving are two sons, Randy of Placentia, Calif., and Paul Thaler of Niagara Falls; a daughter, Wendy Scarantine of Clarence Center; a brother, David of Youngstown; a stepsister, Betty Lederhouse of Ransomville; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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