Last Thursday I travelled over to Everett, WA to prepare Charlie for transport to Sandpoint. First I had to pick throught eight piles of what appeared to be just plain junk, to see if there were any parts in the piles we might need. At first glance I saw nothing. Upon closer inspection, I noticed some small thing or two that we might need. I found a tail wheel strut and an oleo and two tires, some windows. Then I really began to get into it. I picked a pile of things and put them into the belly of the beast.You just never know when you might need an extra piece of sheet metal to patch up some holes, an extra landing light, or more wire screen to cover the engine cooling intakes. So I loaded up! I also found clam-shell doors to cover where the engine used to be.
Then Carson, a former Navy F-14 pilot, and one very nice fellow, helped me to stuff the four 200 pound rotor blades down the throat of poor Charlie. At that time I got a finger between a rotor blade and the floor. OWW! My first helicopter injury in decades!
I couldn't pass us the ninety pound cooling fan assembly, even tho we will not have an engine to cool. It was just too unique a piece to leave in the trash heap. I can see it mounted on an axel with numbers on each blade, a la old-time-western-movie gambling hall, to spin to determine how much the next person will donate! Could it be you? Are you willing to spin the cooling fan of fortune?
Donations continue to come in, thanks very much to all who have generously donated so far. And to those who have not yet, but are going to do so. We can still use more tax-deductible donations.
Then I took a lot of photos and made a lot of measurements in preparation for Charlie's move to her new home. Details of move and date still unknown at this time. Watch this space for updates.
There have been many phone calls after the article in our local paper, the Bonner County BEE. Several people have offered to help with every aspect. Two former Marine Corps Master Sergeants, retired, former crew chiefs, have offered to help reconstruct Charlie. We even got a mention on the Spokane T V channel 6, KREM, and today I had a call from a fellow in Rochester, New York telling me he heard about the project in a veteran's news twitter source! Charlie really is getting noticed. We are having fun now!