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When looking to add air conditioning to the Armadillo Indoor Flea Market Mall, which will open in late August, owners Larry Gottula and David Briddle came up with a novel solution. Rather than go the traditional route of having the 94 units driven in and then lifted up to the roof by crane — which would have taken four days — Gottula and Briddle hooked up with Brad LaDue, a Vietnam veteran and co-owner of 5 State Helicopters Inc., to airlift the units in. The operation took just three hours. But it's not easy to replicate. LaDue is just one of 25 vertical reference pilots in the U.S. certified for this kind of work.

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