Veterans ride in Huey helicopter


Tomorrow, the Owensboro Air Show takes off from the riverfront. And today, some western Kentucky veterans saw the city from up above.

They rode in a Huey Helicopter this afternoon.

For some Tri-State veterans, it was another chance to ride in them, and another chance for memories to come back.

“It’s hard to describe when you’re up there. It’s just like an adrenaline rush. You feel free when you’re up there,” said Steve Rogers, who served in the Navy. For him and Charles Lagadinos, they get another chance to experience what it’s like to ride in that helicopter.

“It’s getting a good time to do it,” says Lagadinos, who served in the Vietnam War. “If you’ve never flown in one, you need to jump in.”

“This will probably be my last opportunity,” Rogers adds. “I’m getting up there in age and you never know from one day to the next.”

They were two of six veterans chosen by the non-profit group Army Aviation Heritage Foundation to ride in the aircraft they once used while in the armed forces.  The trip brought back memories of past experiences.

“Flew a lot of troop transports in to action, pulled a lot of bodies out of action. We did a lot of troop resupplies in the areas,” Lagadinos recalled.

Both veterans say this tour above Owensboro was a thrill.

“First get in there, start it up, you go through several levels of the engine reaching its RPM, blades leveling out, you know you’re getting ready to lift off,” said Lagadinos.

“It’s beautiful from up there,”  says Rogers. “You can see all the landmarks, the river, the bridge, see all of the airport and surrounding areas. It’s a good view.”

The Huey Helicopters are also one of several performers for this weekend’s Owensboro Air Show.

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 (This story was originally published September 14, 2018)

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