Climb raising funds for helicopter restoration project

James Bullinger poses with the YH-41A “Seneca” helicopter.

Textron Aviation of Wichita, Kan., is pledging $5,000 toward the Army Aviation Museum Foundation’s fundraiser to restore an Army YH-41A Seneca helicopter stored at the museum at Fort Rucker.

Foundation board member James Bullinger said the pledge means $7,562, almost 80% of the $9,500 goal, has been raised.

Bullinger and internationally certified mountain guide Estalin Suarez will be climbing Cotopaxi, Ecuador’s second-tallest volcano, this month. Pledges are based on a given dollar amount for every 100 feet of elevation completed (45 segments) and a bonus for reaching the summit.

All of the funds will go to support the restoration project, and all contributions are tax-deductible. Any funds raised above the $9,500 goal will be applied to future restoration projects. All travel costs and climbing expenses are self-funded by Bullinger.

The helicopter was built in 1956 by the Cessna Aircraft Co. It was assigned to the Aviation Test Board at Cairns Army Airfield at Fort Rucker and used for test and evaluation purposes.

Textron Aviation owns the Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker brands and accounts for more than half of all general aviation flying.

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