On Feb. 17, 1974, U.S. Army Private Robert K. Preston stole an Army helicopter and flew to the White House, landing on the South Lawn. Thirty helicopters at the base were fueled and ready to fly; he took off in one without anti-collision lights on or making the standard radio calls. Secret Service check the stolen Army helicopter after Robert Preston landed it on the South Lawn of the White House. Robert Kenneth Preston was born in Panama City, Florida, in 1953. Address . View Robert Preston’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. Though he’d escaped being shot on the White House lawn, Robert Preston’s joy ride was far from over. Though, he realized, if he gave himself up to the Army he’d be put in the stockade. ″What tipped me off that something was wrong was it didn’t have a normal helicopter sound,″ Preston said. "I never saw him in an altercation with anyone," she said. 1974 White House helicopter incident Nominator(s): L293D (☎ • ) 01:48, 15 February 2020 (UTC) A strange incident in which a helicopter mechanic, Robert Preston, stole a helicopter and flew around Washington D.C., then back to Maryland, being pursued by police in helis and cars. He continues to serve in the Naval Reserves as an Advanced Helicopter Flight Instructor. The helicopter apparently was trying to land at an Arco pumping facility west of Interstate 5 and northwest of Fort Tejon, he said. Getty Images Secret Service check the stolen Army helicopter after Robert Preston landed … On February 17, 1974 Robert K. Preston stole a helicopter and landed at the White House. In an audacious breach of security in 1974, 20-year-old Robert Preston, a helicopter repairman working for the US Army, stole a helicopter from his base in Maryland and headed to the White House. He died of cancer on July 21, 2009, while living in Ephrata, Washington. Experience Our Air Tours! He had also noticed a helicopter without its anti-collision lights on taking off from the field. Secret Service agents prepare to fly the copter back to its original airfield. On February 17, 1974, U.S. Army Private Robert K. Preston took off in a stolen Bell UH-1B Iroquois "Huey" helicopter from Tipton Field, Maryland, and landed it on the South Lawn of the White House in a major breach of security. Robert Preston Meservey (June 8, 1918 – March 21, 1987) was an American stage and film actor and singer of Broadway and cinema, best known and remembered for his collaboration with composer Meredith Willson and originating the role of Professor Harold Hill in the 1957 musical The Music Man and the 1962 film adaptation; the film earned him his first of two Golden Globe Award nominations. [1][3][5][6][7], Some 300 rounds were fired, of which five hit Preston, causing superficial wounds. In a bizarre joyride that took place at around 2:00 A.M., Preston hovered the helicopter over the south lawn about 150 meters (500 ft) from the West Wing. A strange incident in which a helicopter mechanic, Robert Preston, stole a helicopter and flew around Washington D.C., then back to Maryland, being pursued by police in helis and cars. By Christopher E. Botzum from Wikimedia . However, he instead gave himself up to military officials in exchange for the charges to be dropped. It was evaluated by army personnel and found to be flightworthy despite its many bullet holes, and was flown off in front of cameras from many major TV networks and reporters shortly before noon. He then decided to visit Washington, D.C., 20 miles (32 km) southwest, by following the lights of the Baltimore–Washington Parkway. Although Pvt. Private First Class Robert K. 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