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. 

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