(Posted sometime in 2010)
The Chapter has an ongoing project to help get the Huey fuselage restored and repainted, so that the next time we haul it through Auburn, it won’t look quite so ratty. We noted at the last Veterans’ Day parade that the thing was starting to look like a Hangar Queen. The attached photo, from our last Auburn gig, illustrates that not only has the tail boom developed a serious case of acne, but the boom and the rest of the fuselage are actually different colors.

We have initiated contact with the Olympia Flight Museum (who owns it) and Northwest Helicopters (who will actually do the work) to get the project done by early fall. As negotiations developed, we offered to pick up the cost of the materials, while Northwest Helicopters will donate all the skilled labor and their unique aircraft-sized painting facilities. Given the cost of a job like this, this is a good deal.

To make this happen, we need to come up with about $1000, ideally by late summer. For openers, we’re looking for a $20 to $25 donation from each of our chapter members, with any shortfall coming out of chapter assets. If you’d care to donate to this worthwhile effort, please send a check, payable to VHPA-WA ‘Huey Fund’, to Treasurer, John Shafer, at 2331 Eastlake Avenue E., Seattle, WA 98102 (206) 324-4936. Ideally and if you could, please try to send these funds before summer’s end, but John will be taking the donations at any point that you can send them to the Chapter.

If we manage to raise more than $1000 through this effort, we will have Northwest Helicopters use the excess to make the interior of the Huey a little more presentable. For example, some of the webbing on the pilots’ seats is getting pretty bad and could stand to be replaced. Some of the gray soundproofing also needs replacing. Northwest has the assets to make that happen. In any event, we won’t be using the excess, if any, to simply boost the chapter’s bank account. That account is merely a holding tank until we need to turn those funds over to Northwest Helicopters to buy the paint.

We look forward to hearing from you on this project!

Best regards,
John Crossman
Chapter Project Lead

Update: October 2012

Late this summer, the Olympic Flight Museum notified us that they and the museum owner, Brian Reynolds, were developing a plan to start another Huey project to replace the airframe that is now being used. This new airframe/tail-boom combination will replace the one currently being used. Rather than to waste our money repainting the current aircraft, we will wait until the new aircraft is ready, then spend our money putting a quality paint job on it. This decision will force us to use the existing airframe with the ‘well worn’ paint in the Veteran’s Day Parade in November, but it will be for the last time. Thank you all for your most generous contributions to this effort which will be completed this winter.