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The Southern California Detachment of the Arizona Chapter of the Georgia-based Army Aviation Heritage Foundation (AAHF) will be offering rides in a Bell AH-1F Cobra gunship throughout the summer in several Southern California locations.
The Detachment is based at the world-famous Yanks Museum located at the Chino, California Airport. In addition to conducting flight operations from that location on July 14 and 28, Aug. 8, and Sept. 8 and 22, the Detachment will be bringing the Cobra to several aviation-related locations and events. These include the Wings and Rotors Air Museum in Murrieta on May 19 and 20; the Steve McQueen Car Show in Chino Hills on June 2; the Western Museum of Flight in Torrance on June 16; and the Wings Over Camarillo air show on Aug. 17, 18 and 19.
The cost is $325 for the standard ride and $525 for an extended ride. Riders sit in the front (gunner’s) seat and are taken on a simulated “fire mission” as the pilot in command takes them through the maneuvers and narrates the scenario.
How can they do this in a Restricted Category helicopter?
The operating restrictions are laid out in part 91.313. In short, it states that you can’t carry passengers or cargo for hire, and unless operating in accordance with the terms and conditions of a certificate of waiver or special operating limitations issued by the FAA, you can’t operate a restricted category civil aircraft in the U.S over densely populated areas, congested areas or airways, or near busy airports where passenger transport operations are being conducted. (This section does not apply to non-passenger carrying civil rotorcraft external load operations conducted under part 133.) I know the cobra is also being used by the US Forest Service for fire fighting.
I would like to address the question as well… The AAHF applied for, and was granted an exemption to operate under an Experimental category to conduct rides much like other select historical flying museums. The aircraft has to be maintained, inspected and flown by the exemption to include crew training and currency. A ride taken by a passenger also has flight parameters that must be adhered too.
We conduct a fairly extensive passenger briefing before the flight that covers all the items per our approved exemption.
Hope this helps!!!
Any idea as to your 2019 schedule for rides in your AH-1F? I appreciate it’s early but thought you might have some info available.
Best regard, Iain Macpherson
Im interested in a ride in the Cobra. What is the schedule moving forward into 2020?
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