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Philip J. Landi

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Philip J. Landi Obituary

Philip J., 89, a helicopter industry pioneer, of Hackensack formerly of Hasbrouck Heights, passed away on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Mr. Landi flew into the Guinness Book of World Records in September 1976 when he piloted a helicopter atop the 1385 ft. South Tower of the World Trade Center on a 20 ft. by 20 ft. platform, then the world's highest rooftop helipad above street level. Called New York City's "Mr. Helicopter" by WOR radio's Eye in the Sky, George Meade. For over 35 years, Mr. Landi played a leading role in promoting the business use of helicopters and the development of heliports as the Manager of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Helicopters & Heliports Operation, a position he originated in 1950. He was responsible for the first New York City public heliport and reportedly the first rooftop heliport in the world. Under Landi's direction, the Port Authority helicopters flew more than 56,725 hours covering in excess of 6 million miles without fatal incidence, a record applauded by the industry. The operations were awarded 12 bronze Safety Medals by the Helicopter Association International (HAI) for twelve consecutive years, 1974-1985. His unwavering support and devotion to the helicopter industry made him a recognized leading expert in heliport construction and helicopter operation. He became a much-sought speaker and technical consultant. Landi garnered numerous awards and achievements, including; HAI Max Schumacher Award for distinguished service, Lawrence D. Bell Award for long and significant service to the helicopter industry and the Cavaliere Award Il Presidente Della Republica from the Italian government for encouraging mutual interests in helicopter development. In 1981, he was chosen by the State Department, with the British Embassy approval, to flight-check Queen Elizabeth's pilots prior to their flying Prince Charles over the New York/New Jersey area. He then accompanied the Prince on his aerial tour, pointing out the sites of interest along the way.
He was always proud of the fact that he greeted every U.S. president, from Eisenhower to Reagan, who came to New York on official business.
He was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey in 1986. When he retired in 1988, he was lauded for having done more to promote the use of helicopters in the New York metropolitan area than any other advocate.
Locally, Landi was instrumental in establishing Hackensack University Medical Center's Medevac helicopter access and served as their Aviation Adviser for many years.
Landi was born in Rockaway, NJ on April 12, 1923 to the late John and Filomena Landi. During WWII, he served in the Army Air Corps and was promoted to maintaining a B-29 fleet in the South Pacific, a prophetic indicator of his future in aviation. He attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford and was a graduate of Spartan School of Aeronautics in Oklahoma, where he learned to fly.
He was a parishioner of Corpus Christi R.C. Church in Hasbrouck Heights where he served as a former usher and a former lector, was a former member of the Monsignor Fitzpatrick Knights of Columbus Council 7041 in Hasbrouck Heights and a former Board of Director of the Helicopters Association International.
Beloved husband of sixty-five years to Venus A. (nee Inniello) Landi. Devoted father of Cheryl Lombardo and her husband John of Oradell, and Colette Sipperly and her husband Raymond of Upper Montclair, who never fail to look skyward when they hear a passing helicopter. Dear brother of Stella Bencel of Wharton, Rose Narcise of Denville, and the late Phyllis Ippolito and John Landi. Loving grandfather of Lindsey Lombardo, Jack and Landon Sipperly.
Funeral from Costa Memorial Home, Boulevard and Central Ave., Hasbrouck Heights, on Thursday at 10 AM. Funeral Liturgy from Corpus Christi R.C. Church Hasbrouck Heights at 11 AM. Entombment following at Calvary Mausoleum, Paterson. Visitation Wednesday 2-4 and 7-9 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey, 400 Fred Wehran Dr., Teterboro, NJ 07608 in memory of Philip J. Landi would be appreciated.]]>
Published in The Record/Herald News on May 7, 2012
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