The Boeing B-17F "Flying Fortress" AFA-317th Chapter Aircraft

"It has served, unlike any other bomber, through all of the Second World War. It had become a legend in its time. A tribute to the men who had conceived, designed, and built it-and a monument to the remarkable young men, most of them boys who flew it. These men, and this plane, accomplished one of the most frightening missions ever demanded of men and aircraft. Together they helped end history's last "Glorious War".


AFA-317 Blogspot created and maintained by Benny F. Benitez, FAA -Airframe / Powerplant and FCC-Ham Radio Lic.) VFW Life Member, Former Chapter President (2009-2010). Current Chapter Vice President of Special Projects

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead AFA Chapter, 317th Supports the Federal Aviation Reserve, LLC., U.S. Coast Guard / George T. Baker Aviation School HU-16 Albatross Restoration Project

Shown from left to right are Captain Robert Gomez, FAA Civilian rated Seaplane pilot and operations manager for the Miami Sea Plane base at Watson Island, along side with AFA-317 Chapter President, Lt. Col Rodrigo Huete USAF (Ret.) and Captain Richard Kenin, USCG 7th District Chief of Staff at the George T. Baker Aviation School library, as the converse about the Grumman Albatross aircraft

The visual presentation of the HU-16 project at the George T. Baker Aviation School

Captain Richard Kenin, USCG speaks to the audience of the school students and instructors who led an amazing effort toward the cosmetic restoration of the HU-16 nose section about U.S. Coast Guard Aviation history, that of the HU-16 and how the HU-16 also served with the U.S. Air Force as the SA-16

Shown from left to right next to amazingly, cosmetically restored Grumman Albatross HU-16 nose section is George T. Baker Aviation School Principle Dr. Sean Gallagan, Captain Joe Kimball, USCG and Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Air Station Miami located at Opa Locka Airport, Captain Richard Kenin, USCG, Coast Guard 7th District Chief of Staff, Mr, Benny F. Benitez the HU-16 project founder and Lt. Col Rodrigo Huete USAF (Ret.), President AFA Chapter 317th 

The nose section of the Grumman Albatross as it looked when it arrived at the George T. Baker Aviation School back in October 2012. The section was the sole section of the entire aircraft that was sadly scrapped at the Opa Locka Airport

Miami, Florida December 12th 2013: The Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter 317th was in attendance at the George T. Baker Aviation School along with elements from U.S. Coast Guard District 7th to formally dedicate the wonderfully, cosmetically restored nose section of the Grumman HU-16E Albatross by the school students. This project was the vision and brainchild of past Chapter President, Mr. Benny F. Benitez, Founder and CEO of the Miami. Florida based 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group. 
The idea was to tie the aviation students at the school with U.S. Coast Guard aviation maintenance personnel from U.S. Coast Air Station Miami located at Opa Locka Airport (KOPF), so as to work as one in a well rounded community project. Present at the dedication ceremony was Captain Richard Kenin, USCG, the Chief of Staff for USCG 7th District and former Commanding Officer of U.S. Coast Air Station Miami as he representing Rear Admiral John. H "Jake" Korn who sent his "That a Boy" for a job well done. It should be noted that the United States Air Force did operate Grumman HU-16E during the Vietnam War along the coastal areas of Vietnam as well as within the Mekong Delta to assist in the Search and Rescue (SAR) mission of downed American airmen. Chapter President Lt.Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete, USAF (Ret.) was in attendance and proudly presented the Chapter during the presentation and ceremony. 

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead AFA Chapter, 317th November 2013 Luncheon "The Advent of The South Florida UAV Special Project Development Group" Presentation

Shown left to right are AFA-317th former President Benny F. Benitez (2009-2010) with current President Lt. Col Rodrigo 'Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) as accompanied with the Chapter newest member Mr. Codi Diamond an FAA certified flight instructor and commercially rate airlines pilot and future aviation lawyer

In appreciation of his presentation on the South Florida Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Special Project Development Group home grown project to develop, test and fly Miami's first ever, home grown (UAV) in conjunction with the students from the George T. Baker Aviation School, Lt.Col Huete presents Benny with the Chapter guess speaker appreciation gift consisting of a laser engraved / etched Boeing B-17 in a glass cube. The Boeing B-17 is the Chapters mascot aircraft

The Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) of its days, the Liberty Eagle designed by John Kettering for the U.S. Army in 1918 and the first (UAV) to fly over the State of Florida airspace of Cook Field in Arcadia, Florida. The popular name in aviation history for the Liberty Eagles is the "Kettering Bug"

The foundation group as comprised of the companies that are leading the way with the introduction toward (UAV) awareness to the students of the George T. Baker Aviation School. Worthy mentioned to Arma Tech of West Palm Beach, Florida who graciously provide the CGS Hawk ultra light aircraft on a long term loan to the school and of which shall act as the primer platform for flight testing

Miami, Florida 14th November 2013: The Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter AFA-317th hosted a special presentation prepared and given by former Chapter President, Mr. Benny F. Benitez, Founder and CEO of the 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group on the early story of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) and the launching of local, grassroots project to convert an off the shelf ultra light aircraft known within the market as the CG Hawk into the first ever (UAV) built in Miami, Florida by aviation students from the George T.Baker Aviation School. 
The CG Hawk has been acquired as it been placed on long term loan to the school for the sake of the project by West Palm Beach, Florida based Arma-Tech. The project is expected to take a few years, as funding needs to be collected to support the various items needed to fully convert the CG Hawk into a (UAV). The fist phase of the project shall be the assembly of the disassembled CG Hawk by the school and functional ground test before any manned functional test flights.
AFA Chapter President, Lt.Col. Rodrigo "Rod" Hutete USAF (Ret.) who is a rated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Engineering Representative (DER) Test Pilot shall be conducting the manned functional test flights in the future.