- January, 2013
With the installation of the new tall, helicopter-friendy hangar
door complete, The Ghost is gently rolled into its new home.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- March 2012
Marine Helicopter 145810 arrives at its new home in Colorado
after a two-day road trip from Oklahoma.
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.
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.
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 (www.shuflyflightassn.org) 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
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!