The Sikorsky HO5S-1 made its name flying medevac missions in Korea.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- Air & Space magazine, January 2013
(Page 2 of 2)
The North Koreans were just over the hill from VMO-6’s location. “They couldn’t see us in the helicopter,” says Barnett, “but they could hear us, and they would fire mortars.” Sometimes, however, the most hazardous part of the mission wasn’t mortar fire. “The most dangerous part of flying at night was all the telephone wires that had been strung up,” says Barnett. “Every unit that left never took their phone wires down. If you weren’t real careful, you’d pick up a phone wire with your tail rotor and then you were in big trouble.”
The Museum’s HO5S had an interesting post-military career: It was bought as surplus and went through several owners in Florida, eventually winding up in the possession of Fred Clark of Orlando Helicopter Airways. Clark used it for flying tourists, crop-dusting, taking reporters out to Cape Canaveral to cover the Apollo launches, and other tasks. In a letter to the Museum, Clark wrote: “One of our regular jobs after every launch was to rush the news film to the airline terminals at McCoy so that it could be flown to New York City in time for the ABC, NBC and CBS evening news.” Clark restored and donated the aircraft to the Museum in 2007; it is now on display in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in northern Virginia.