Project Status

Update - January, 2013
With the installation of the new tall, helicopter-friendy hangar door complete, The Ghost is gently rolled into its new home.

Update - August, 2012
The project was started in the cabin to see how much damage to the belly might have occurred from sitting for 50 years. We also needed access to a large hole in the side and under the aircraft, where a careless forklift operator in Tucson poked a hole between the center and aft fueling caps.

Accessing the fuel cells proved to be quite a tedious process. It requires the careful removal of over one thousand 3/16" aluminum bolts 1" long, which hold down the floor of the cabin over the 11 fuel cells below. The 11 rubber fuel cells have 19 cover plates, also held down to the floor by 16 to 20 small bolts. When these are removed another 19 round cover plates provide access into the cells and fuel pumps. The inner round plates also have 16 to 20 small 1/4" steel bolts 1/2" long that are safety wired and well rusted into each fuel cell metal ring. The fuel system may just be the most time consuming part of the restoration process.

Update - May 16, 2012
Maj Fritzler discusses the H-34 Shufly restoration project with General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, during the 100th Anniversary of Marine Corps Aviation celebration in Arlington, VA.

Update - March 2012
Marine Helicopter 145810 arrives at its new home in Colorado after a two-day road trip from Oklahoma.

Once the helicopter was securely loaded, I departed Inola shortly after 6:00 in the evening -- directly into a blinding afternoon sun. I stopped at a large Sinclair truck stop on the eastern edge of Tulsa for gas and a short wait for the sun to set.

As I returned from inside the truck stop with a cup of coffee, I found the helicopter was surrounded by over a dozen people. They were looking over the helicopter and asking each other questions such as "Are those bullet holes in the airplane that were patched?" Many could not believe they were looking at an old Marine helicopter from the Vietnam War, with over 100 bullet patches.

I was amazed at all of the interest from the truckers and, as people satisfied their curiousity and moved on, more people continued to arrive. Several of the people I met asked if they could contribute to the restoration and I informed them we were still in the process of forming a non profit tax exempt organization and awaiting IRS approval. I told them to look us up on the web soon, as the U.S. Marine Corps Shufly Helicopter Flight Association website ( was also in the early stages of forming. A young man rode up on a very nice Harley Davidson and he also asked if he could contribute. I again began with we were still not set up to take contributions, but finally accepted his business card and his 50 dollars. I told Mr. Steven Goad of Tulsa Oklahoma that he would become the first member of our organization when we finally get our act together.

The spectators were busy snapping photos with their camera phones until 9:30 that evening. When I finally left the station, my quick stop for gas had lasted three hours!