Cline pilot remembered following fatal crash

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — David Jude was a good golfer but a better person.

That’s what West Virginia Golf Association Executive Director Brad Ullman said about Jude Friday less than a day after hearing about the Kermit native’s death in the helicopter crash that also claimed the life Jude’s friend coal magnate Chris Cline.

Jude was Cline’s pilot. When he was not in the air he was usually on the golf course. Ullman said Jude was a great friend of the WVGA for many years.

David Jude

“This is just terrible news. When we received the news late last night it really hurt,” Ullman said.

Ullman said he recently witnessed Jude help a younger golfer, an example of the kind of character he possessed.

“There was a young player that was recently at an event that had some trouble getting his cart fee taken care of just because lack of work and things like that and he’s (Jude) like, ‘Ya know what buddy, I’ll get you taken care of. You just go out there and have a good day and play well.’ He was always thinking of others and very passionate about the game and its principles. I think that’s what we’ll miss most with the loss of Mr. Jude,” Ullman said.

Jude was a good golfer. He recently qualified and played in the West Virginia Open. When he wasn’t playing he was on the bag for his son Davey, Ullman said.

He said Jude will be sorely missed at the WVGA’s Parent-Child Championship scheduled to take place in a few weeks at Glade Springs.

“Mr. Jude and his son Davey have won it before and they’ve been fixtures around that event for many years. There will definitely something missing there in a couple of weeks when we have that event,” Ullman said.

There was no word Friday afternoon on what caused the early Thursday morning crash two miles off the coast of the Bahamas. The helicopter was found hours later when the traveling party didn’t arrive in Fort Lauderdale.

There were seven victims including Cline, Jude and Cline’s daughter Kameron. The victim’s list also has not been officially released.

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