Exton Region Chamber of Commerce

American Helicopter Museum Premieres Documentary About Vietnam Vet’s Extraordinary Life

November 11, 2021
Written by: ercc-marketing

November 11, 2021 - West Chester, PA – The American Helicopter Museum & Education Center (AHMEC) is proud to premiere, “Flying without Failing,” a documentary by director Fabrice Paget on Saturday, November 13, from 6 until 8 p.m.

The film reveals the fascinating and colorful life of Walter Gutsche, one of a handful of maverick helicopter pilots ever to have survived the Vietnam War and flown for 50 years without a single incident, garnering a 50-year safety award. Filled with anecdotes, personal interviews and never-seen-before vintage, first-person footage of helicopter operations, the documentary outlines how an ordinary kid from New Jersey, through grit and smarts, became an extraordinary pilot who dedicated his life to saving and training others without forgetting to have fun along the way.

Breaking with the established format of feature-length documentaries, Paget tells Gutsche’s story without using narration. The movie, which could be subtitled, “Walter and the Choppers: What 50 Years Flying Helicopters Teaches You,” features Gutsche’s own photographs and eight-millimeter films that offer a rare glimpse of life as an Army helicopter pilot and instructor.

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“I’ve always loved helicopters,” explained Gutsche. “As a child I was fascinated by a TV series on mountain rescue in the Swiss Alps using bright red helicopters. As an adult, I was fortunate to be able to afford learning to fly these extraordinary machines and discovered a world of amazingly interesting characters. When life took me to Philadelphia, I discovered the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, and its volunteers.”

Gutsche met Piaget while volunteering at AHMEC several years ago. After thinking many times that his life sounded like a movie, he and Paget frequently discussed the possibility of collaborating on such a project, and the amazing “Flying without Failing” was born.

Admission is $10.00 per person and free to AHMEC members. Contact AHMEC at 610-436-9600 or see the website at www.americanhelicopter.museum for more information.

The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center, located at 1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, is the nation’s premier aviation museum devoted exclusively to helicopters. Established in 1996, the nonprofit organization collects, restores, and displays rotary-wing aircraft, including over 35 civilian and military helicopters, autogyros and convertiplanes.

The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center

1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, PA  19380


Jan Feighner, PR Coordinator

610-436-9600, x 204


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