Largest Helicopter in the U.S. to Deliver World’s Largest Christmas Tree
November 1, 2007 By Corrie
Nov. 1, 2007, Portland, OR – The largest helicopter in the United States will soon deliver the world’s biggest Christmas tree to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California.
Nov. 1, 2007, Portland, OR – The largest helicopter in the United States will
soon deliver the world’s biggest Christmas tree to Six Flags Discovery
Kingdom in Vallejo, California.
The bright red and white Columbia Chinook has a rotor span covering
nearly 5,000 square feet and is capable of lifting 26,000-pound loads.
The giant tree, 125-feet tall, is a Douglas Fir from Oregon’s
The tree lift will take place on Friday, November 2. Because of its
size, the tree is being delivered by truck in two sections and is
wrapped to prevent damage during transportation. The airlift is
necessary to actually bring the tree into the park, as it is being
placed at the main entrance Dolphin Fountain area.
Once the tree is ready for flight, the helicopter crew will carry
the sections over rides and buildings that will be closed during this
operation. The helicopter crew will place the sections near the tree
stand in the center of the park, where a conventional ground crane will
reassemble the tree and set it upright.
The tree delivery is in preparation for Six Flags Discovery
Kingdom’s “Holiday in the Park” event, the biggest holiday celebration
in California, which will officially open to the public after
Thanksgiving. The celebration, where many areas of the park have been
transformed into grandiose holiday themes, promises festive fun for
guests of all ages.
This Christmas tree project is similar to other work routinely
performed by this helicopter. The helicopter is owned and operated by
Columbia Helicopters of Portland, Oregon, which is active in
selectively harvesting timber throughout North America. In the
selective harvesting process, only a portion of the timber is removed
from a forest, leaving the remaining trees to thrive with the
additional resources of water, sunlight and soil nutrients. The
remaining timber is also more resistant to fire, disease and insect
This particular aircraft spent most of the summer under contract to
the U.S. Forest Service, helping to fight wildland forest fires across
the Western United States. While Columbia Helicopters does have two
aircraft assisting with the fires currently burning in Southern
California, this aircraft was not available for these recent
Columbia Helicopters has the largest privately held fleet of
heavy-lift helicopters in the world, second in size only to military
fleets. The company’s aircraft are used for timber harvesting,
construction projects, fighting forest fires and petroleum exploration