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0ohmefe

Herc in the creek at Cape Romanzof

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Hi folks, Sherm here.

Anyone out there have copy of the photo of the C-130 which went off the runway at Cape Romanzof back in the '80s? Story goes the 17th guys couldn't fly that day (winds out of limits at the site) and another unit - TDY to Elmendorf - took the trip and were blown off the strip into the gully on the left side. Damage to outboard fuel tank caused a leak and fire. A man with a front-end loader scooped up a load of snow and extinguished the fire. A crane was frozen into place in a makeshift pond created by damming the ditch draining the right side of the runway. Aircraft was pulled out of the creek, back onto the runway and somehow they got it up to the top where it was repaired and flown out, months later, by a 17th crew which included my buddy, Chief Doug Grant. The photo shows the airplane burning before the fire was put out, this photo was hanging in our squadron's Hardstand 13 lounge while I was a member of the 17th TAS (later renamed 517th AS) from 1991-97. Were you on that aircraft when it had the mishap? Where's that photo with the caption "UHAE" The Unique Hazardous Arctic Enviornment, respect it!" or something like that?

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Ah, the days. Been a lot of years and can't remember everything. But I'm not too sure about the 17th and wind stuff. It was during Brim Frost '85. If I remember correctly, high cross wind, light GW, icy runway. Should have aborted the approach, but AC wanted to get in to pickup some Alaska Scouts and bring home. Recovered bird to parking ramp area for decision. AF was going to write it off but Lockheed said they could fix it for $6 mil, while a new one was $16 mil. Forgive an old memory. So they replaced some engines and props, and outer wing I believe, bolted down the gear and off they went.

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It was the 317th from Pope not the 17th that crashed the plane. They were flying a 314th(Little Rock) aircraft.

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I was Chief, Current Ops for the 616 MAG during that Brim Frost. The winds were most certainly outa' limits that day. We didn't even alert the crew. All of our the local 616 restrictions (like previous experience into the field by the Pilot in command, etc.) had been incorporated in the 22AF Airfield restrictions guide yrs before. Without meeting any of those qualifications /restrictions that crew went anyway, after I personally talked to their ops officer or duty officer about going. (can't remember who it was exactly). Any way, all airlift during BF was scheduled thru' our little office except SpecialOps. I hate it that I can't swear to it, but the way I remember it, it was a SOS crew outa' Florida that crashed it, or it was a SOS crew flying a bird from another regular trash hauler outfit. It wasn't one of our 17TAS birds, for sure. yes, Steve Sullivan & Doug Grant flew it out months later. And the other remarks about snow being dumped on it, etc are correct as I remember it too. All I can swear to is that the crew wasn't a regular Tac airlift crew, because we cancelled that day.

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It was a Pope crew. They could have been a SOLL II crew but not an SOS crew out of FL.

Ah yes, 4010, 64-0526. That aircraft was repaired and at some point given to the 146th AW/115th AS as replacement for 61-2373 that was crashed in KY while on loan to Littlerock. 64-0526 was the only 64 yr. model we had and that presented supply issues. The aircraft it's self was one that crews complained about not flying straight. I am not a pilot and can not verify that fact, just reporting what was stated then. 0526 was a temperamental bird. This aircraft was transferred to Puerto Rico ANG after a few years. The aircraft was sent to WR/ALC for depot and scrapped there. I do not know how long Puerto Rico NG owned the aircraft but I remember is was short lived. Puerto Rico also had 61-2369 transferred from the 146AW. 369, I worked on and was a good aircraft. Flew reasonable well as I was told. It was an aircraft that was passed around a lot and needed some TLC but maintenance wise was good. Transferred to PR ANG after about 6 months and it too was scrapped at WR/ALC shortly thereafter.

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It was a Pope crew. I got the pleasure of working with the pilot in the Command Post at Pope after the incident and he became a member of our Command Post crew.

For the record nice guy liked working with him.

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Great pictures! Doesn't look like the recovery process was a lot of fun!!

By the way, SEFEGeorge has some great pictures of Cape Romanzof in his users gallery! Also many more good ones of the similar landing strips in Alaska!!

George, how are you doing?

Ken

Edited by Mt.crewchief
Adding comment

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I don't know how to prove who's right or wrong. Time does weird stuff to us all, but I checked around some more. I spoke w/ Milt Haas the other day. He was the 17TAS DO during that time. I asked him what he remembered w/out telling him what I thought and he piped up right away, "it was a SOS crew". He told me a few other stories about the SOS bunch who was using the 17TAS building to headquarter out of during that "grim" Brim Frost. He & the 17th CC had to have words w/ them a couple of times about "behavior". (And we were not some wuzzy outfit, either). He remembered it same as I did-SOS out of FLA. Now I might have lost my mind. Doubtful since I wrote the frags every day for that BF. If it was a "regular" airlift sqdn. their frags came outa' our office. But Milt hasn't. (I hope, ha !) Added just for conversation since we're all so old and retired now. Not to argue. Honest. Fly safe guys.

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Definitely NOT an SOS crew.  It was a crew from Pope (39th).  I was in the same squadron.  As mentioned, they may have been a SOLL II crew, but were certainly not from Florida or an SOS sq.

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On ‎12‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 8:08 PM, BillJohan said:

Definitely NOT an SOS crew.  It was a crew from Pope (39th).  I was in the same squadron and remember several of the crew members names just fine.  As mentioned, they may have been a SOLL II crew as there were two navs (am good friends with one of them)  on board but they were certainly not from Florida or an SOS sq.  FE was the one who used snow to extinguish the fire. 

 

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Long time ago and some years after I left the "Harsh, Unique, Arctic Environment". I recall reading the final message copy of the report, if I remember correctly. At least it was a very comprehensive version of the safety report. Pope crew during Jack Frost exercise with --I believe-- a medevac involvement. Somebody's E-model.

Seems the winds were out-of-limits per the 616MAG local directive. I don't believe that wind limits were specified in the 22AF Summary; just the "strip check" part. Icy runway? Have to see some pictures and the report. If it was significant ice on runway, you'd have to be nuts to go in there with strong and/or gusty wind period.

I think what got 'em was combination of x-wind, light weight, slippery to some extent, and pulling 'em to max reverse right away with 100% flap extended.

I believe I remember the safety report brought in some aspect of a crewmember's previous personal life; which I thought was just chicken dirt, having nothing to do with flying an airplane.  Like I said, long time ago.

 

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That checks Fred.  What I recall was they were perhaps going to depart holding but rec'd a call about someone needing to be flown out of there due to an emergency medical incident.  And yes about the dirt.

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