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Coast Guard Aviation Association

Phoenix Project

CGAA established a goal for CGAA to get the Phoenix Project to place a Coast Guard aircraft in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Mr. Roger Connor, curator at NASM U-H, spoke at our 2009 Roost banquet in Elizabeth City and promised that the candidate aircraft would be placed in a position of honor, possibly suspended in flight from the overhead. RADM Bob Johanson, USCG (ret.) has labored long and hard to get 3 H-52s, along with associated dynamic components, from the Aberdeen proving grounds. CGAA purchased an H-52 from a training facility in Arkansas for roughly $8.6K and donated it to the CG. Coincidentally, it arrived at ALC the same weekend as the 2009 Roost.

At the Roost business meeting, we concluded a Memorandum of Understanding for an Action Plan between the Coast Guard and CGAA, together with a Gratuitous Services Agreement that would permit CGAA members, be they active duty or volunteers from the community, to work on the aircraft at ALC using tools and materials authorized by the Coast Guard for the purpose of preparing this artifact for acceptance by a major national aeronautical museum where it will be visited each year by hundreds of thousands of people – including young people who may be inspired to pursue a career in the USCG. CAPT Ray Miller, USCG (ret.) has been instrumental in negotiating the terms of these agreements and facilitating the Phoenix Project, as it has come to be known, so that a once-beautiful bird will rise from the ashes of obscurity.

The Phoenix project is our effort to restore a museum quality HH-52A for display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.

  • Objectives
    • Fully restore an HH-52A for display in the NASM Udvar-Hazy Center in April 2015
    • If resources permit, restore other aircraft for display in other venues
  • Key Factors for Success
    • Collaborative effort between CGAA and USCG
    • CGAA providing services via Gratuitous Services Agreement with USCG
    • Project Management Plan
      • Includes ALC Resources, CGAA Volunteers, Contractor Support
    • Supported by senior USCG officials and ALC
  • Current Status
    • Best potentially available candidate aircraft identified: CGNR 1426
    • Actions in progress at CGHQ to obtain aircraft and transport to ALC for restoration
    • Transfer to NASM anticipated on April 1, 2016 (100th anniversary of CG Aviation)

Project Highlights 2005 – Present

  • Then Ptero Prez CAPT George Krietemeyer (Ret.) set the founding goal of displaying an HH-52A in National Air & Space Museum
  • Ptero CAPT Tom King (Ret.) established interest with NASM and facilitated acquisition of airframes from Aberdeen Proving Grounds
  • Then CGAA/Ptero Prez CAPT Mont Smith (Ret.) successfully promoted Phoenix within the USCG and won broad CGAA membership support
  • RADM Bob Johanson (Ret.) has been serving as Project Director since the inception and is working with USCG to ensure success

Actions 2012 – 2013

  • Project Kick-Off Completed at ALC
  • Fundraising Campaign Started
    • Current funding level:  $150,000
    • Ongoing solicitation from corporate sponsors and membership
  • Best Available HH-52A Identified:  CGNR 1426
  • Scope of Supply Completed
  • Sources of Supply Contacted

Ongoing Action & Goals

  • 2015
    • Mar:   Completed Inspection of CGNR 1426
    • Apr:   Acquired CGNR 1426; selected VectorCSP as restoration contractor
    • May:  Completed Project Management Plan
    • May:  Completed Restoration Plan
    • May:  Obtained Required Parts
    • Jun:   Organizing active duty Volunteers iaw Memorandum of Agreement
    • Jun:   Restoration well underway; updates provided every month
    • Dec:  Re-painting of aircraft
  • 2016
    • Feb:  Complete Restoration
    • Apr:  Transfer to NASM

CGAA will award a life membership for a donation of $250 or more and a one year membership for a donation of $30 or more. These are simply suggestions, but we urge you to recognize that this will be, the first and only Coast Guard aircraft on display in this prestigious collection for many years. We will be grateful for a donation in any amount.

Please send your donation by check to:

Coast Guard Aviation Association
Post Office Box 940 Troy, VA 22974-0940