Thursday, April 21, 2011

More pictures of Charlie being received.

These pictures are courtesy of Howard Bigelow, immediate past President of Viet Nam Veterans of America Chapter 890 here in Sandpoint.

Charlie with axels inserted, sitting on the ground, fork lift about to disengage.

MANY, MANY thanks to all the wonderful people who showed up and helped unload and secure Charlie.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

Now we have to get together and create some work parties to get the beastie put together and spruced up.  Saturday morning, 10:00 AM at Quality Collision, 315 So. Ella St at Hwy 2,  for those who want to play!

Helicopter pilots bring people to Jesus!

This was sent to me by a former comrade in arms, former USMC H-34 helicopter pilot Clayton Canfield:

A priest dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him
is a guy who's dressed in sunglasses, a loud Hawaiian shirt, leather jacket, jeans and sandals.
Saint Peter addresses this cool guy, "Who are you, so that I may know
whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?"
The guy replies, "I'm Bear, retired United States Marine Corps
helicopter Pilot from Siloam Springs, Arkansas."
Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the Marine pilot,
"Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom." The
pilot goes into Heaven with his robe and staff.

Next, it's the priest's turn. He stands erect and proudly booms out,
"I am Father Bob, pastor of Saint Mary's parish for the last 43 years."
Saint Peter consult s his list and says to the priest, "Take this
cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom."
"Just a minute," says the good father. "Are you telling me that the
guy just ahead of me, who was a Marine Helicopter pilot, gets a silken
robe and golden staff and I get only cotton and wood. How can this be?"
"Up here - we go by results," says Saint Peter.
"When you preached - people slept.

When he flew, people prayed."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Night carrier landing in Navy jet

Here is a night carrier landing of a Navy jet plane.  This is in calm weather, no rain.

and here is one in daytime, easy weather

Try to imagine landing at night in very bad weather!

This is what Carson did in F-14's during his Navy career.  What a guy!
Then he went on to airline flying and retired from that.  He delivers helicopters for fun.

I could not find the series of three:  night, bad weather, pitching deck.  If someone finds it, please let me know.  Thanks.

Blog stats

Just for fun I looked the statistics on my blog; 
Blog hits and their sources. I share them:
United States  2,122
United Kingdom

Here I am handing the check for the final payment for Charlie to Carson to deliver to Tim Adamson of Nash Creek Companies, the seller of the H-34. At first I had been a little wary of dealing with a used aircraft salesman.  Were used aircraft salesmen like used car salesmen, I wondered?  Would I ever really get the helicopter delivered?  It turns out Tim is a man of the highest integrity. If anybody has a need for used aircraft or parts, call Tim 678-472-4633.  Carson was a wonderful, helpful  fellow who I now consider a good friend. I take back everything I ever said about Navy jet jocks!  (Just kidding, I never said anything bad about them.  Anybody who can land a high speed fighter jet on a pitching, rolling aircraft carrier at night in a blinding storm is ALLright in my book!)

There is a great series of videos on youtube about Night bad-weather carrier landings on youtube.  just type in night carrier landings.  You will find your adrenaline flowing, and feel yourself squirming in your seat trying to get these guys aboard!
Here sits Charlie in  her new home, on her axels, safe and secure behind high cyclone fencing. 
later I added several "NO TRESSPASSING" signs. To the left is a spare tail pylon for spare sheet metal to do repairs. As one of the fellow said, "You can't have too much tail."  She is strapped to a plywood platform, which it turns out, was probably unnecessary, as Carson stayed over to help us install the axels and oleo struts. We have wheels and tires, thanks to Tim's generosity;  he stole some from another helicopter he had on his lot to give to us.  He says he enjoys helping veterans organization that do this sort of thing.  Looking back, I think he gave us a bargain price, considering it included delivery to Sandpoint from Everett, WA
Thanks TIM!

Charlie rests after a hard journey in the lot at Quality Collision Repair.  Isn't she beautiful?
Just a little sprucing up and paint, and she will look like new, I'm sure!
Anybody who wants to help in getting her together, call bill collier
We especially need someone who knows about the wheels, tires and bearings for the running gear so we can roll her thru town on May 20.The "Lost in 50's" event is rapidly arriving.
We rented a humoungous construction fork-lift to lift Charlie off the trailer. Above is a picture of the forks being threaded thru the lift cables above the rotor head. 

 The second picture is with tension on the cables and Charlie about to become "airborne." Possible for the last time, ever.


This Last picture of Charlie actually off the ground and floating in mid-air.  I practiced with the fork lift for about two minutes and thought I was an ace.  it was very embarassing that every time I tried to move the helo an inch or two, it would jump about six inches, and usually in the wrong direction!
By the time we were done, I had developed the finesse it took to move it very slowly, and inch at a time, but I still had trouble with direction of move!  But, we did it!  We got Charlie off the trailer and got the landing struts and axels attached, many thanks to Carson for hanging around long after he had to, and providing his experience and expertise with these manuevers.see next set of pictures.

A dawg follwed me home! Can I keep it?

April 20th, the H-34 finally got delivered to us.
Here is a picture of "Charlie" at the Conoco gas station as you enter town. At this point I abandoned my car and jumped in with Carson to guide him through town.  Previous to this I went through town and measured every wire to make sure we would not catch one on Charlie's rotor head, which was almost fourteen feet above the ground. We made it through OK.

 Here is Charlie at the side street, just before turning onto Ella Street, its final destination.
Here it is, after being backed into the side yard at Quality Collision repair.  The tail is folded for easier handling.  Everett Wood, Commandant of our local Marine Corps League Detachment on the right. in red, and Howard Bigelow on the left, immediate Past President our our Local Viet Nam Veterans of America Chapter.

more pictures and commentary right away.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

H-34 enroute!

We just got a text msg from Carson, the former Navy F-14 pilot, who is driving the truck delivering Charlie.
He departed Everett at 0600,  ETA Sandpoint 1400.

Any body who lives nearby and wants to come welcome Charlie....COME ON DOWN!
315 So. Ella St, just behind TRADERS lumber yard. at Quality auto repair.

Pictures of Charlie's arrival will be posted soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Charlie" loaded, ready to roll!

We just got an email from Tim Adamson, the helicopter seller, in Everett--Charlie is loaded on a trailer and is ready to roll;  we expect delivery at 2:00 PM tomorrow, after a day's delay.  YEA! Finally, this is coming together.

Delivery delayed!

Delivery of "Charlie"  has been delayed.  The people doing the delivery could not get ready for today.  Shooting for tomorrow.  Updates will be posted.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


We have a delivery date for Charlie!

The old Sikorsky is to be delivered Monday April 18th.  2:00 PM.
Carson, the fellow who helped me to load all the spare parts and rotor blades says he can leave Everett's Paine Field before rush hour, and be here at 2 PM.  I believe him, as he said he made a delivery to Spokane last week and knows the road and the times involved. I did not think to ask him what he delivered.  Is there another H-34 in our area?  Does Charlie have a friend nearby? I will find out.
This is so much fun!
So, if you live in the area and want to come help us welcome Charlies, come on down!
If you do not live in the area, then just send money, please.  We will  have a few expenses getting it all together and ready for the parade next month.
We are going to try and have it ready for the "Lost in 50's" Parade May 20th.
We will be assigning chores to all who wish to participate.
I will post pictures of the arrival, and Charlie in her new home.
Also, pics as she gets refurbished, painted, and paraded.  keep in touch.
Please send donations to:
Bill Collier
402 Sandpoint ave. no. 224
Sandpoint, Idaho  83864

make checks out to V.V.A. Chapter 890, Sandpoint.    Tax deductible donation!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Charlie" to be delivered soon; in a parade, too!

Here is a picture of an H-34 flying in Viet Nam taken in the Summer of 1966. It's from HMM-161,  flying south near the coast of Viet Nam, from Dong Ha to Phu Bai. The pilot is First Lieutenant John "Nasty" App.

 After some delays, it looks like Charlie will be delivered Monday April 18th. Hour yet to be determined. Notices will be sent out as things develop.  Come on down! We hope to have press and T.V. people there. (We have had a little trouble coordinating the delivery with the fellow who has sold us the H-34, but things seem finally  to be coming together.)

For those who live near Sandpoint, we are going to have a meeting Saturday the 16th, 10:00 AM  at the lot where Charlie will live. The location is 315 So. Ella Street, Sandpoint. (This is right beside/behind TRADERS lumber yard, across Hwy 2 from Dairy Depot.) It is more for discussion of what, why, how, when etc. of what we are going to do with Charlie after she gets here, but it will also be to see if we can get together some specific work committees to attack whatever things that need to be done to/for Charlie.

One thing we need to do right away is repair about thirty feet of cyclone fence at the rear of the lot where Charlie will be placed. The posts are still in place, the fencing material is available, but we need someone with cyclone fence repair abilities to repair the fence. We have the fence stretching tools.

The first thing we want to do with this old Sikorsky is try and get her up on her own wheels, so we can pull her through town for the "LOST IN 50's"  parade, May 20th.  Sandpoint has this wonderful old car parade/show every May, and we already have tenative permission from the promoters to have Charlie participate.  Here is a link to that event:

We are hoping we can get the wheels under her, and get a few parts attached so she will be halfway presentable. Our tenative plan is to pull her throught town every "Lost in 50"s"  and every Fourth of July parade, and pull her over to our veterans STANDOWN at the fairgrounds every June, too. 

GOOD NEWS! about the place where the helicopter will sit.  Richard Oliver at Quality Collision Repair had originally given us only tenative permission to park Charlie on his lot for a short while.  He was thinking his landlord would not be agreeable.  After checking, Richard got a green light from his landlord, so it appears that Charlie has a semi-permanent home at Quality.  Both Richard Oliver and his landlord are both veterans, too. Richard served in the U.S. Navy. 
Richard's wife, Jonnie Bradley,  publishes the WIZE GUIDE, and is creating a full page article about Charlie in her next edition, soon to be published, which will have 10,000 copies distributed in our area. YEA, Jonnie!

More later as things develop.

Of course, as always, any donations to the cause will be greatly appreciated!  Make checks out to "V V A post 890".  Send to Bill Collier, 402 Sandpoint Ave, No. 224, Sandpoint, ID  83864