Monday, July 25, 2011

What a beaut!

Here is a 1962 S-58T I found for sale in Canada.
What a beautiful aircraft.

No, we are not interested in buying it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Charlie wins an award!

Here are three more pictures of Charlie in the 4th of July parade.

The first one is the Marine Corps League color guard preparing to start leading the parade, Charlie in the background.
The second is Charlie being towed by Mike Kazar's 1953 Jeep.
Third pic is a close-up of the Jeep.

A big thank you to Marilyn Hales, WW2 Marine Corps vet, who took these pictures.  See early blog posts for pictures and story about Marilyn.  She was the very first person to donate to Charlie's well being and refurb, and one of only two people to make donations twice
Speaking of which, Charlie could use a new set of tires.  We are skating on thin ice dragging her around on tires that are thin and nearly treadless. If you would like to help us keep Charlie in good condition, please be so kind as to send a tax-deductible donation to:

VietNam Veterans of America
Chapter 890
c/o  Bill Collier
402 Sandpoint Ave. No. 224
ID  83864

All donations will be greatly appreciated.

Charlie won an award in the 4th of July parade:  she won the "community/civic" prize, whatever that means.  Clarification later on, as possible.  Click on the article to enlarge it.
One of our local vet supporters is actor Ben Stein. He has yet to make a donation to Charlie, though.  We will have to work on that.

We also took Charlie on her third outing on the 10th of July.  All local vets joined up at our local riverside park for our annual BBQ picnic.  Since it was nearby, Charlie got to attend.  She did not have to get permission to go because she is a veteran too.

We recently got her paperwork.  She spent 19 years in the U.S. Army before being put out to pasture in the Arizona desert. No pension, no benefits--she's tough!
She spent time in Europe and then worked for the Michigan national Guard for about a decade.
more details as we get into the paperwork.

However, inside the cabin is the name of a crew who flew her.  Capt. Wooten in the MI national Guard....anybody know him?  more details on that later, too.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How NOT to place an aircraft restoration!!!

Photos taken at the old NAS Alameda.
After 2-1/2 years of volunteer
restoration work on the A-4, which had blown over in a wind storm, it was to
be put back on the display pedestal.

Not only did it get dropped a few feet onto the pedestal but the
crane tipped on its side and the whole arm fell on the plane. Note crane
support jack timber on grass area, insufficient to bear weight of crane and

Rich Faletto sent this picture of an A-4 falling and being hit by the crane while being replaced on its pedestal at the former Naval Air Station Alameda (Those of you who flew out of there may remember it as NGZ. It was a great little base.).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Charlie on Parade!

We did it!  We got Charlie into the 4th of July parade today.
She was all gussied up in new paint and colored balloons, with Captain Syanne Siler as the pilot in command.
(Captain Siler is my nine year old granddaughter.)  The golden blob hanging on the pitot tube (just above the flag) is a vintage Navy flying helmet.

Mike Kazar was kind enough to being his 1953 Korean War vintage Jeep to pull Charlie through town.

Charlie just after the start of the parade;  Syanne waving flag from cockpit.

Our local detachment No. 1110 of the Marine Corps League furnished the color guard for the parade.

Three great shots of Charlie going North on 1st Ave.  Pictures by Roger King, who probably was the number one reason why Charlie was able to roll through town today.  he is the one who completely re-worked the wheels and bearings on all three wheels to make this trip possible.  Not only is Roger a superb machinist and,designer, he is a great photographer.

(Note the top tail rotor blade is missing.  We had to do that in order to clear the lowest wires on the parade route.)

Here is Mike Kazar in front of his Jeep getting ready to pull Charlie from her nest at Quality Collision Repair on So. Ella St. prior to the parade.  He also did and excellent job of putting the helicopter back into her nest with only inches to spare on either side of the gate.  Good job Mike, and thank you very much for you time and the use of your Jeep.

We have another gig on the 10th of July.  There is an annual big veterans picnic/BBQ at Lake View Park for all veterans. Come on down and join us!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


More noteriety!

Today's mail brought the latest edition of the "POP-A-SMOKE" newsletter, the poop sheet put out by the Marine Corps Combat Helicopter Pilot and Aircrew Association. In this latest edition "Charlie" had a nice column about her restoration project. We are very pleased that the editors of  POP-A-SMOKE were kind enough to publish that blurb about the project.

If anybody want to know more about the association, go to There are thousands of pictures of Marine Corps helicopter operations posted there, from all aspects of the USMC history, including Korea and the modern operations in Iraq and Afganistan.

Charlie is all ready for the 4th of July parade Monday. Today she got some touch-up painting, and got lettering MARINES (Huge letters) on her right side, and UNITED STATES ARMY (smaller letters, but a recreation of previous work) on her left side. Consider this and endorsement of black Gorilla Tape. It works wonderfully for temporary lettering. John Pugh says he is also an experienced painter, and will, at a later time, redo the lettering with paint. Thank you John!

News Flash!  Today's mail also brought the paperwork and records for Charlie. Charlie truly is a 1950's model. Her first log entry was 1957. This makes her the genuine article for the "Lost in the 50's" parade next year. We were going to enter her anyway as a "50's era" helicopter, but now we know she really is a "Girl of a certain age." Charlie spent time in Germany and Michigan before going to Davis-Monthan. More details as they emerge. We even got our bill of sale.  Thank you Tim Adamson.

That said, it is time for a little more cyber begging! Project Charlie is about a thousand dollars over budget, so anyone who can afford to make a small donation in these hard times, please do so.

To send a tax deductible donation, make check out to V.V.A. Chapter 890, Sandpoint, Idaho
Mail to:

Bill Collier
402 Sandpoint Ave. No. 224
ID 83864
also, feel free to call: 208-597-0622

Thank you in avance for any donation, however small.

Lots of pictures after the 4th of July parade;
Perhaps a short video or two!
And I WILL get to the mystery of "What's in dem black boxes anyway?" soon.