Helicopter rides bring joy to Orange Beach

By: Crystal Cole/ Islander Editor
Posted 8/13/18

Pleasure Island got a blast from the past a couple of Saturdays ago as vintage military aircraft came to town.

On Saturday, August 4, the nonprofit Friends of Army Aviation – Ozark provided …

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Helicopter rides bring joy to Orange Beach

Posted

Pleasure Island got a blast from the past a couple of Saturdays ago as vintage military aircraft came to town.

On Saturday, August 4, the nonprofit Friends of Army Aviation – Ozark provided "Legacy Helicopter Rides" in a vintage Vietnam War-era Bell UH-1 Huey combat helicopter from the helipad, near the Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf.

The Friends of Army Aviation - Ozark is an IRS 501(c)3 Veterans nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of U.S. Army Aviation through its museum and flyable Vietnam-era aircraft.  

Chris Litton with the City of Orange Beach, said there were 201 paying flights, and the group received more than $400 in donations.

“It was a tremendous success,” Litton said. “Everybody had a blast. There were lots of Vietnam air veterans out there that day. It just sort of turned into a reunion. They were out there chatting and just kind of catching up.”

City Administrator Ken Grimes said the city wasn’t sure initially what the group wanted to do, but thinks a partnership isn’t far off after the first event.

“This is an incredible thing not only for veterans who experienced that time and that era, but also for the Friends of Army Aviation,” Grimes said. “So many veterans brought their grandkids and such. They say they try to stay within two hours of Ozark for the most part to keep cost down.”

Litton said the group was impressed with Orange Beach, with the people and, most of all, the hospitality.

Approved at the council meeting were:

- Approval of a Retail Beer (Off Premises Only) and Retail Table Wine (Off Premises Only) Liquor License Application by Dolgencorp, LLC, for Dollar General Store 5707, 4225 Orange Beach Boulevard.

- Approval of a Special Retail Liquor License Application by Gilbeys, L.L.C., for "Labor Day Event," 4851 Wharf Parkway, Suite D 117.

- Resolution awarding the bid for the City's Debris Clearance and Sand Reclamation Contract to Crowder Gulf, LLC.

- Resolution accepting the proposal for the City’s debris monitoring, disaster management and recovery services contract from Thompson Consulting Services.

- Resolution awarding the bid for a drone for the police department to Vector Solutions, in an amount of $40,021.50.

Discussed at the committee of the whole meeting was:

- Resolution authorizing the execution of a Professional Services Agreement with South Coast Engineers, L.L.C., for coastal engineering services.

(PW) - Resolution authorizing the purchase of a security door for the Finance Department from Glass Systems of Alabama LLP in the amount of $36,449.65.

- Resolution appointing Penny Groux to the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism Board of Directors.

-Resolution authorizing the execution of memorandum of agreement with the Orange Beach Public Library Board for generator usage.

-Resolution authorizing the execution of a task order with Lucido Engineering & Surveying to perform land surveying of the Callaway Drive right-of-way south of Canal Road in an amount not to exceed $6,310.

- Resolution authorizing execution of a task order with Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc., to perform professional engineering and land surveying services for Terry Cove Drive improvements at State Highway 161 intersection in an amount not to exceed $30,572.

- Resolution amending Resolution No. 17-032 authorizing the City of Orange Beach to acquire certain property in and around Powerline Road to allow for the acquisition of additional property.

- Resolution amending the employees pay plan/ job listing to make adjustments to tennis center positions and to add position related to the Expect Excellence program.