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Well-Known Amateur Radio Contester and DXer Will Roberts, AA4NC, SK


An experienced and successful member of the amateur radio contesting and DX community lost his life on October 21 as the result of a small plane crash. William “Will” Roberts, AA4NC, of Apex, North Carolina, was piloting the plane, which went down not long after take-off in a wooded area of Onslow County, North Carolina, near the Holly Ridge/Topsail Island Airport, killing Roberts and another passenger, identified as Willie Hobbs, Jr. Two children were hospitalized with injuries. Roberts, 61, was the owner of the Mooney M20J aircraft and held a commercial pilot’s license.

A licensed radio amateur since 1976, Roberts became interested early on in contesting and DXing and enjoyed being “on the DX end of the pileup,” as he said in his profile. Over the years, Roberts operated from many locations, including some in South and Central America and others in more exotic locales. He was a regular at the Dayton Hamvention®.

He was on the DXCC Honor Roll, had achieved nine-band DXCC on HF, and VUCC on 6 meters. He also enjoyed RTTY. AA4NC took part regularly in events like the ARRL 160-Meter Contest and ARRL November Sweepstakes. He participated in the first World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) event in 1990 in Seattle and served as a judge at WRTC 2018 in Germany.

A member of the Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC), Roberts was the trustee of W4MR, used occasionally in contests from his home contest station.

Roberts was also a guitarist and vocalist who played solo acoustic shows in the coastal Carolinas and belonged to the Flying Musicians Association (FMA).

A graduate of North Carolina State University, Roberts was an electrical engineer, specializing in telecommunications.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were on the scene of the crash to determine its cause.




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