Students help revive old helicopter

A restored Cobra helicopter takes off from Columbia Metropolitan Airport Thursday.

COLUMBIA (WACH) - For the first time in a decade, a restored, rejuvenated Cobra helicopter lifting off in Columbia bound for Fort Bragg North Carolina in time Veterans Day festivities.

The US Army relied heavily on these choppers during the Vietnam War.

"Its primary role was to take out enemy armor and to protect the troops on the ground."

Lt. Colonel John Woodward says the aircraft has been out of service since 2002. It's airborne again thanks to the help of the Celebrate Freedom Foundation.

Midlands high school and trade school students also lent a hand.

"They TMve come out to hangar; we've used them to help with the painting, with the priming, with the cleaning with the maintenance, said flight instructor Vladimir Kultschizky.

Not to mention being a motivational and educational process, they get to work hand in hand with veterans."

The foundation serves two purposes: honoring our servicemen past and present, and creating opportunities for young people.

"There are at least 78 career fields involved with this aircraft alone, adds Kultschizky.

"When they come over here, they don't realize its not just engineering, it TMs the maintenance involved, the electronics, and being a mechanic."

The chopper will return to fly in Columbia TMs Veterans Day parade, November 11th."