|By Carmelo Turdo|
Former U.S. Army helicopters are taking on a new mission with two education foundations based at Creve Coeur Airport in St. Louis County. Currently, three of the stout rotorcraft are fully flightworthy, with another in the restoration process. They will resume operations next year when the current health crisis abates.
Last Saturday, the Gateway Chapter of the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation received their AH-1F Cobra helicopter in addition to the OH-58A Kiowa and UH-1H Iroquois already in the chapter's fleet. The chapter, along with the national foundation, provides flight experiences at public events around the country. The fleet is currently standing down flight operations until the 2021 airshow season or until further notice.
Another former military helicopter will soon also be based at the airport - an OH-58C/S Kiowa that served with the U.S. Army in Operation Desert Storm and later served as a parts donor for a law enforcement fleet. It was recently acquired for use as a flying educational exhibit by the Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation. The aircraft's tailboom is currently being prepared for painting and the tail rotor and turbine engine will be installed this winter. It will be used to fulfill the foundation's mission of inspiring youth to pursue opportunities in the field of aviation. We will have regular updates on the restoration process as it progresses.
Both organizations are valuable assets to the St. Louis area, and The Aero Experience wholeheartedly supports their missions. We ask that you click on the links above to learn more about them and contribute your time, talent and treasure when possible to ensure they have a strong year ahead.