Vietnamese Homebuilder Wants Heli Back

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Farmer Le Van Dahn spent $30,000 and seven years building a helicopter out of spare parts and an old Russian truck engine. The contraption has risen 18 inches off the ground in four test flights and Dahn was getting ready to start trying to maneuver it when the government clipped his rotor blades. No one in Vietnam has ever been allowed to build his own aircraft. So the government took the whirlybird away. Maybe EAA should consider opening a chapter in Vietnam. Sure, it might only have one member ... but he could really use the help. The farmer hasn't (yet) seen the wisdom of the government's action and is vowing to fight to get his chopper back, even putting the house and farm up for sale to finance the battle. And he has a long-term view of the struggle ahead. "If I cannot do it, my children or my grandchildren will do it," he said. He might check with them before he sells the farm.