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Originating from a concept demonstrator delivered to the US Army in 1962 based upon a UH-1 Huey, the AH-1 is the world’s first attack helicopter. The US Marine Corps (USMC) started to fly the AH-1W Super Cobra in 1986. The last AH-1W was delivered in 1998. The AH-1W has been replaced by the AH-1Z, starting in 2006 as part of a remanufacture program. The Last AH-1W has been retired in 2020.
Taken a few years ago, the curious video in this post shows two helicopters (a Bell AH-1W Super Cobra and a Bell UH-1Y Venom) making a quick visit to Bar Harbor.
Noteworthy the Super Cobra landed at the town athletic fields to retrieve a cell phone one of the crew had left at a local restaurant earlier in the afternoon.
On that day in fact six Marines had stopped for lunch at the Thirsty Whale, and one accidentally left his cell phone behind.
As reported by Mount Desert Islander a little while after they left, server Jess Witherell said, the phone rang at the restaurant. The caller ID listed the Hancock County-Bar Harbor airport in Trenton.
“How far away are you from the town ball field?” the voice on the phone asked, according to Witherell.
“Well, are you walking or driving?”
“We’re landing a helicopter at the ball field.”
Bar Harbor residents are familiar with LifeFlight, a helicopter ambulance, using the town athletic fields as a landing zone.
“Oh. Well if you land the helicopter and walk, then it’s about ten minutes.”
The caller asked if anyone from the restaurant might be available to bring a cell phone the group had left behind down to the ball fields to meet them. Witherell replied that the restaurant was busy, but she would ask dishwasher Bryce Lambert if he could deliver the phone.
“I got chosen to be the person to go,” Lambert said. “I hopped in the car.”
According to reports, not only the presence of the helicopters caused some alarm in the neighborhood, but their noise also set off at least one car alarm.
Kate Hall Jordan was at the new Park Street Playground across the street from the athletic field with her son Finn when they heard and saw the helicopters approach.
“That’s not LifeFlight,” Finn Jordan said. “That’s an attack helicopter, like an Apache.” He later identified them as a Bell AH-1W Super Cobra and a Bell UH-1Y Venom.
The Super Cobra landed while the Venom circled the area. One person came out of the landed chopper. Lambert ran to meet him and handed off the cell phone.
“He pulled the [velcro] patch off of his jacket and handed it to me” to say thanks for the help, Lambert said. Then they quickly took off again.
The Marines appear to be part of a helicopter squadron based in New Jersey.
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