Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The Celebrate Freedom Foundation is raising money to restore a Vietnam-era Army helicopter damaged by an alleged drunk driver at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina last month.
The historic Cobra AH-1F helicopter was built in 1966 and deployed in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm, WOLO-TV reported. The foundation owns the chopper and has taken it to schools to teach students about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
It was parked in the parking lot of the airport on Dec. 14, when it was struck by an alleged drunk driver who took a wrong turn and ended up on the airport access road instead of the interstate, police reported.
Damages to the helicopter include a ruptured fuel tank, cracked transmission, broken lines and dismounted engine, with repairs estimated at $6.6 million.
"You just can't buy these parts. These parts are restricted because of this being an attack aircraft," Stephen Seymour, executive director of the Celebrate Freedom Foundation, told WOLO-TV.
If restored, the helicopter would be among the oldest Cobras in operation in the United States, he said. Helicopters owned by the foundation are restored by volunteer veterans and active-duty soldiers.