Joe Ballinger   Woody Freeman   Harvey Meltzer   Joe Ballinger  



"Bell Award"

It was given for a night medevac of a RCA employee who was electrocuted at a downrange site on Andros Island, Bahamas (USN Atlantic Underwater Test and Evaluation Center).  He was given CPR until we got there with the RCA Doctor (about 20 minutes) who hooked him up and saved him.




The Bell award presentation shot in front of the USN UH-1N we used.  Right to left: Joe Ballinger (Imperial Aviation Chief Pilot), Bill Gordy (RCA Site Manager), Gene Collings (Imperial Aviation Pilot-former US Army) 




A civilian contract pilot flying a USN UH-1N probably was confusing to Bell thus the USN wings and the Mister as Aircraft Commander.



Here is some pics of Evergreen,s 4040S, the only S-61 in South America in 1975 before we converted it to fixed gear.  It lost an engine on takeoff, fully loaded, and crashed into the river mud bank at base camp.  Since there were no heavy lift helos nor cranes for a thousand miles, our Helicoptereros (Peruvian ground crew) dug  it out overnight, and we jacked it up nearly level onto wood platforms.  Stripped the weight down to below estimated 11,000 lbs, and I along with Charlie Johnson, Chief Pilot Evergreen as my CP, flew it out single engine with about 450 lbs of fuel aboard. The civilian S-61 doesnt have a internal APU!  Had to use a double battery start, and rock and roll on that wood platform getting the hydraulics and rotors up to speed hoping to not fall off before I could get it airborne. Didnt try for much of a hover Just enough to clear the platform to either do a water landing or get it airborne for a 180 back to the pad!  Off, up to 300 ft over the river, a 180 and onto the pad.  Actually we had a concrete 200 ft runway with three pads on it! As I recall the Hobbs meter on the landing gear registered 0.1 hrs.