Friday, May 24, 2013

The Workhorse of the Air Force - The C-130

  This is a C-130 H model called the "Spirit Of Music City" that was the first H Model sent to the 105th Tactical Airlift Squadron in 1989. I flew back from England on this plane in June 1990 after annual training at Mildenhall RAFB. These brand new H Models replaced all of our old A models. Most of those planes had fuselage cracks and bullet holes from the Vietnam War. One of our planes held the record for carrying the most passengers at one time. A C-130 was only designed for about 95 regular passengers and about 65 soldiers in full combat gear. When Vietnam fell to the North Vietnamese one of our C-130's evacuated 538 South Vietnamese civillians. They were tough planes. When I was picked for jury duty in 1986 I served on a trial with a C-130 pilot that managed to land a plane on one engine after three of his engines were drowned out during a downpour caused by a violent thunderstorm near Pope AFB North Carolina. He said that the only thing that saved him and his crew was the fact that he could see the runway at Pope through a break in the clouds. This is still on record as the only time a C-130 successfully landed on one engine. Very seldom did I fly on a C-130 that wasn't packed to the gills with passengers and equipment. I flew all over Turkey in 1970 and 1971 while stationed at Erhac. Also I have flown all over the United States as well as four overseas trips to Germany, Belgium, England, and Hawaii. You haven't lived until you have spent that many hours on a C-130. They were noisy, smelly, and uncomfortable but I always had confidence in our planes and crews. The first picture is the "Spirit Of Music City" flying over Nashville and the second is of our flight to England.

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