HRP-1 ‘The Flying Banana’ Elizabeth City
Fly the ‘Flying Bannana’ again out of the Elizabeth City. Each piece is carved from wood and handpainted to provide a piece you’ll love.
The Coast Guard acquired three HRP-1 twin-rotor helicopters from the Navy beginning in November 1948. All three helicopters were stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City along the North Carolina coast. At least one was assigned to the Rotary Wing Development Unit based out of Elizabeth City. Here they participated in numerous experiments, including on-the-water landings with newly invented flotation gear and the testing of various types of hoists, rescue baskets, and rescue harnesses.
Helicopter landings were tested and evaluated on board the USCGC Mackinaw in Buffalo, New York, by CDR Frank Erikson, Commanding Officer the Rotary Wing Development Unit, ’Erickson also participated in flood relief experiments in the Second Coast Guard District in 1949 as well, using HRP CG-111826. The experiments included testing various hoisting methods and equipment at various points along the Mississippi River, beginning in St. Louis, Missouri.
Many of the current Coast Guard helicopter rescue procedures in use today owe their development to Erickson and the HRP experiments he, along with the men of the Coast Guard’s Rotary Wing Development Unit, conducted in 1949 and 1950. USCG
United States Coast Guard Air Station is co-located at Elizabeth City Regional Airport in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, along the Pasquotank River near the opening of the Albemarle Sound. It is the largest  and busiest Coast Guard air station in the U.S., operating missions as far away as Greenland, the Azores and the Caribbean.
Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Elizabeth City is located on the campus of the Coast Guard’s Base Elizabeth City. and is one of several commands located on the Coast Guard’s premier Base. In addition, the Base Elizabeth City complex houses the Aviation Technical Training Center (ATTC) (a headquarters level command which trains enlisted Coast Guardsmen in aviation ratings in “A” Schools and advanced “C” Schools), the Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) and Station.
The missions include search and rescue (SAR), Maritime Law enforcement, International Ice Patrol, aids to navigation support (such as operating lighthouses), and marine environmental protection (such as responding to oil spills).
Currently, CGAS maintains and operates five HC-130J Hercules aircraft and four MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters.
CGAS Elizabeth City was commissioned on August 15, 1940, with four officers, 52 enlisted men and ten aircraft including three Hall PH-2 seaplanes, four Fairchild J2K landplanes, and three Grumman J2F Duck amphibious aircraft. Located sixty miles north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, north of Albemarle Sound and along the East Coast’s northern most ice-free river, the old Holowell Plantation near Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was selected by the United States Coast Guard in 1938 for its potential strategic value as a seaplane base.
During World War II, the air station was under United States Navy control conducting Search and Rescue (SAR), Anti-submarine warfare, and training missions in tandem with Naval Air Station Weeksville, a lighter-than-air airship facility approximately two miles to the southeast that was in operation from 1941 to 1957.
Since then, the AIRSTA Elizabeth City’s missions and assigned aircraft have shifted and grown with changing national priorities and technologies. In 1966 the Air Station expanded after absorbing the coast guard air stations at Kindley AFB, Bermuda and NAS Argentia, Newfoundland.
Recently the Support Center, home of Air Station Elizabeth City was the setting (and used as a double for Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska) in the Kevin Costner film, The Guardian. Support Center personnel were instrumental in providing the infrastructure and support necessary to the filming of the motion picture. Wiki