Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

January 10, 2013

Army pilots make unexpected stop in Greensburg

Brent Brown
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Weather conditions prompted two U.S. Army helicopters to land at the Greensburg-Decatur County Municipal Airport Wednesday night.

The unanticipated stop resulted in several soldiers spending Wednesday night as guests of the Tree City, while they prepared to leave for Ft. Carson in Colorado Thursday.

After landing, airport personnel supplied the helicopters with fuel and Greensburg’s Holiday Inn gave the soldiers rooms overnight Wednesday.

The Daily News spoke with Lt. Eugene Lee and CW3 Tony Van Duynhoven Thursday, and though both men were busily tending to their aircraft, each spoke highly of their unexpected but pleasant stay in Greensburg.

“It’s a nice little town,” said Duynhoven. “The people here are great, and they’ve been very helpful.”

Bill Ernstes, president of the Greensburg Board of Aviation Commissioners, told the Daily News those involved with the airport wanted “to do anything we could to help.”

The airport fueled up the pair of temporarily grounded whirlybirds, another gesture for which the Army personnel were grateful.

The soldiers who stopped by Greensburg this week are presently stationed at Ft. Drum in New York. They planned to spend three weeks on an exercise in Colorado before returning to the East Coast.

Lee, Duynhoven and the others arrived in two black helicopters typically used in reconnaissance missions.

A support group landed for help in a Boeing CH-47 Chinook, a camouflage, tandem rotor aircraft capable of flying at speeds of 155 miles per hour and carrying loads weighing up to 26,000 pounds.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056