Fuquay-Varina, N.C. — Randall Watkins, of Fuquay-Varina, who was the first to pilot WRAL-TV’s Sky 5 helicopter, died Thursday.

Watkins trained to fly helicopters in the U.S. Army. He was a warrant officer and served 12 months in Vietnam. He trained other Army pilots at both Fort Bragg and Fort Rucker in Alabama before leaving the Army in 1976.

He joined the WRAL-TV staff in 1979 and left in 1981.

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