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jflimbach

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Everything posted by jflimbach

  1. Good movie about the loss of the Granite Peak Hotshot team opening. IAR's ex-RC-130A 57-0512, now N118TG did the water drops for the movie.
  2. I went there for Weapons School in Jan of 1961 and worked as a weapons mechanic on an F-86H in the 102nd TFW, Mass ANG for three years. Then I moved back to VA and was transferred to AFRes at Andrews 756th TCS who flew C-119Cs. They didn't need weapons mechs in those pre-gunship days, so they cross-trained me to LM. Went on active duty in Apr 66 and after brief sojourns in the C-124 and C-123, I wound up at Pope in C-130s in 1968 and still in them to this day. Although I have regressed (progressed?) to A models for the past 15 years.
  3. International Air Response's N118TG (ex-USAF RC-130A 57-0512) c/n 3219 View full article
  4. Re the news article about the Living Room Drop My VP Bob Radley and I were the loadmasters on this project. Aircraft was International Air Response N118TG (ex-RC-130A 57-0512), shot in November at the Jameson Tank DZ at Coolidge, AZ. There were three identical living rooms, each weighing about 2,500 pounds. All were gravity ejected using CDS flaps settings. Basically around 10 percent or flaps up, depending on the weight at drop time. A simple release consisted of a loop of 1-inch tubular webbing through a centerline floor tiedown ring, manually cut at "Green Light". Drops 1 and 3 had no parachutes. On drop 2, a Wamore GPS guided (JPADS) chute was used. Jeff Provenzano rode all three of them down from 14,000 feet to about 4,000 before he got off. #1 was mildly unstable while #3 was wildly unstable so discretion being the better part of valor, Jeff got off a bit earlier. #2 was very stable and any of the times you see the platform not moving much and Jeff kicking back or playing with the game controller, you can be sure it was from drop #2. The suspension slings and parachute were removed in post-production via movie magic. Notice the accuracy of the touchdown of drop #2, right in front of the cameras. Just like we planned it (right!!). Being a dog person, I'm still bummed that they wouldn't let us drop the cat. We had a dog on the shoot but I think he wound up on the cutting room floor along with the crew (as usual). They made a "making of" film, which is very good too and also a short film to reassure the world that we didn't hurt the cat. I'll put links to all three here. I've dropped a lot of different and weird stuff over the past 53 years, but this is the first "Living Room".
  5. 120TG was in the hangar when I was there last week.
  6. Re the news article about the Living Room Drop My VP Bob Radley and I were the loadmasters on this project. Aircraft was International Air Response N118TG (ex-RC-130A 57-0512), shot in November at the Jameson Tank DZ at Coolidge, AZ. There were three identical living rooms, each weighing about 2,500 pounds. All were gravity ejected using CDS flaps settings. Basically around 10 percent or flaps up, depending on the weight at drop time. A simple release consisted of a loop of 1-inch tubular webbing through a centerline floor tiedown ring, manually cut at "Green Light". Drops 1 and 3 had no parachutes. On drop 2, a Wamore GPS guided (JPADS) chute was used. Jeff Provenzano rode all three of them down from 14,000 feet to about 4,000 before he got off. #1 was mildly unstable while #3 was wildly unstable so discretion being the better part of valor, Jeff got off a bit earlier. #2 was very stable and any of the times you see the platform not moving much and Jeff kicking back or playing with the game controller, you can be sure it was from drop #2. The suspension slings and parachute were removed in post-production via movie magic. Notice the accuracy of the touchdown of drop #2, right in front of the cameras. Just like we planned it (right!!). Being a dog person, I'm still bummed that they wouldn't let us drop the cat. We had a dog on the shoot but I think he wound up on the cutting room floor along with the crew (as usual). They made a "making of" film, which is very good too and also a short film to reassure the world that we didn't hurt the cat. I'll put links to all three here. I've dropped a lot of different and weird stuff over the past 53 years, but this is the first "Living Room". Rule The Living Room From 10,000 Feet The Making Of "Rule The Living Room" The Living Room Cat
  7. Tanker 88/57-0520/N119TG She was the platform for filming the new NVIDIA commercial "Rule The Living Room From 10,000 Feet". Shot last month and airing now. Here's the link to the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZcQNb8_j0s&feature=youtu.be I've dropped a lot of strange stuff over the past 52+ years, but this was my first "living room".
  8. Although you'll see a C-17 in the actual film, this was done from N119TG (ex-Tanker 88). The rest of the shots were done in a mockup (notice the two wide line of cars), against a green screen with the cars hanging from a crane, and lots of computer magic. This was the first revenue job for N119TG after its rebirth from the almost dead. The sharper eyed will notice that we deployed a drogue just as the cars left the ramp. In the movie it shows the cars free falling several thousand feet before the main chute deploys. They asked if we could do that, and of course the answer was "yes, maybe" but there's no way of knowing whether the car will be right side up when the main chute deploys. So, we had to stabilize them right side up for that 7,000 foot descent to main chute opening. They did a really nice job of making all that look seamless in the film and it will fool all but the most discerning loadmasters.Considering how much film we shot, almost none of the actual footage made it into the finished product. Left on the cutting room floor again! Story of my life in the movies.And, oh yeah, as usual the Herk guys did all the work and the C-17 dudes get all the glory! Art imitates life!!
  9. I guess so. Of course over the 51 years I've been doing this, the job has come close to killing me a few times as well!
  10. Over a 10 day period in Oct of 2013, we dropped two sets of the actual cars used in the film. Obviously after all the principal shooting and stunt driving was finished since not all of them were roadworthy after arriving on the DZ. Especially the one of the Camaros that they had us drop without a parachute. It didn't stand very tall after it got to the ground.Rigging and dropping were interesting propositions, especially when the max airspeed at "Green Light" had to be 102KIAS to avoid leaving the camera chopper in the dust. Be interesting to see how much of the airdrop film winds up staying in. I love the "widebody" interiors. I'll do a detailed writeup of the rigging, loading, and drops after the film comes out in April (if nobody else in the cast kills themselves before then).Major Companies involved and major services provided were:International Air Response: C-130A N119TG (ex-RC-130A 57-0520, Tanker 88), flight crew, maint. support, rigging facility, K-Loader, DZ and recovery support.Big Sky Aviation International: Project Management, load and suspension engineering, rigging and airdrop of vehicles, flight crew loadmastersBRS Aerospace: Parachutes and engineering supportUniversal Studios: Film Crew and Special Effects (SFX) team
  11. jflimbach

    A Model

    We did the test and evaluation of the weight & balance indicator system when I was with USAF TALC at Pope in the late 1960's - early 70's. It worked really well, until you landed the airplane and then it was totally out of whack. Reason was that the sensors were on the main landing gear struts and as soon as you slammed the airplane onto the ground, they went out of calibration. That wouldn't have been too bad since normally you'd just say, "nice try but it didn't work". In this case, they'd already been contracted for and installed on a lot of the fleet before being tested. Ready, Shoot, Aim. Can't blame this on my favorite target, mother MAC, because we were still in TAC at the time. The angle of attack indicator was the greatest thing since sliced bread..........on the C-123. Worth its weight in gold when I was with the 19th ACS in Vietnam. A slight digression. The C-123 was derived from an assault glider and so had a very clean, high lift wing. When configured for approach it gave no aerodynamic indication of an impending stall. One minute it was flying, and the next minute the wing just gave up. At this point, as the Wright-Pat test pilot said, "it just rolled lazily over on its back, like a cat sunning its belly on the front porch." So, on a short field landing you wanted to be as slow as possible but not a knot slower. Thus the angle of attack indicator. Oh yeah, because of this the C-123 also had a stick shaker. Not sure where they got it from, but if it went off it shook the airplane so bad that the pilots couldn't read the instruments and were yelling at the LM to pull the circuit breaker, but that's another story for a different forum. At any rate, the angle of attack system worked great on the C-123. We tested it for a longish time at TAWC in the early 70's and never could get it to work reliably on the C-130. Don't remember why not but I'm sure the test report is somewhere online, probably in the DTIC files if anybody is interested.
  12. After 8 years on E models, in 1976 I was assigned to the AMST (later C-17) program office at Wright-Patterson and attached to the 4450th Test Wing for flying. They had two A models, 55-0022 and 55-0024. I was dreading the thought of being pounded by those 3-bladed props. I almost fainted from relief when I got to the flight line and discovered 4-bladed props on both of them. Interestingly enough, they got other C-130 models in for specific test programs. In getting my required 4 hours a month I was also able to fly on C-130H, AC-130 and MC-130 types. Mostly testing new sensor systems. The bad news was we had to maintain multiple sets of pubs. Major pain for a part time flyer.
  13. Shamed me into putting mine on.
  14. I was down there a while back in 2013 surveying 0459 for a customer and noticed 57-0511 sitting next to it and went over for a look. Was interested because I fly a lot on 0512 (N118TG). The history on it as was related to me is that the ANG flew it to PDM and then it went straight to the boneyard. Hawkins & Powers got it out of the boneyard and used it as a pilot trainer but never screwed with the structure or put a drop tank in it. Then they parked it there in Greybull. When I looked at it, the interior of the airplane looked like it had just rolled off the production line. The cargo compartment was pristine, likewise the cockpit. Even had that "new airplane smell". If it has a good center wing, it could certainly be a flyer again with less work than it took to rebuild 118TG, 119TG, or 121TG. But the key thing, obviously, is the condition of the center wing.[ATTACH=CONFIG]4685[/ATTACH]
  15. Wanted for on-call support of DOD airdrop test programs, movie & TV commercials, and aircrew training programs. Requirements: 1. Currently performing as C-130 airdrop Loadmaster in ANG, Reserve, or recently retired from same or active duty. 2. Possess or can obtain either a current DOD flight physical or, for retirees, an FAA Class II Medical Certificate. 3. Ability to respond on short notice for jobs in the U.S. typically lasting less than one week. 4. Occasional opportunities for longer projects in the U.S. and overseas. If interested and for further details, please send your resume and contact information to: John Limbach, CMSgt USAF (Ret'd.) President & CEO Big Sky Aviation International E-mail: john@bigskyaero.com Cell: 406-839-0195
  16. Call Travis Grantham at International Air Response, 480-840-9860 and check out their movie and TV production film at http://www.internationalairresponse.com
  17. I heard a lot of stories about GPES loads extracted on perimeter fences and etc. We started 1528 LAPES development testing in 1968 at the Tactical Airlift Center at Pope. Around 1969 or so we were told to get a load ready to LAPES onto an angled deck aircraft carrier. About three days out from the mission date, somebody (probably in the Navy) chickened out and the drop was cancelled. I often wondered why they didn't take advantage of GPES since they already had the arresting cables installed. A good, heavy weight LAPES load would have been close to an F-4 weight, so tensioning shouldn't have been a problem. Later in the 70's we spent a lot of time and effort, not to mention money, developing the Naval Emergency Air Cargo Delivery System, NECADS. This involved dropping emergency resupply loads into the water close to a ship that would then hoist them onboard. I remember hearing that after it went operational, a C-141 crew actually dropped a propeller shaft to a destroyer size vessel somewhere off the coast of Africa.
  18. Happy 60th birthday to the oldest Herk still flying (according to Bob's list), N117TG (54-1631), operated by International Air Response.
  19. The show is airing this month on the History Channel. Top Gear USA, Season 5, Episode 2, "Desert Trailblazers". The last two minutes are what you're interested in. Unless you're a real nut on off road 4-wheeling of course.
  20. Keep an eye on Top Gear (USA). In January we filmed a segment for them at Coolidge, AZ using 57-0520 (N119TG, Tanker 88, et al). The plot premise was that these guys had been racing their cars across the USA to LA. They were running late so were going to be airlifted the last leg to get there in time. Only problem was that the aircraft had a HARD takeoff time. They weren't there so we began the takeoff roll. While we were rolling down the runway, they showed up so we lowered the ramp and they drove three cars onboard while we were whizzing (at 20 Kts) down the runway. We did at least seven rehearsal runs and five or six actual drive ons. Went slicker than a whistle because we gave a lot of thought about how to do it safely, and the maintenance guys did a great job of modifying the ground loading ramps to prevent damage. Oh yeah, we used four ground loading ramps so the drivers had a bigger target to aim at. Didn't want a wheel dropping off halfway on. If anyone sees this episode air, please let me know. We'd like to see how it looked from outside the cargo compartment too.
  21. Jim: Now that the Saudi and UAE projects are done, I should be around for a while and plan to fly on the next YPG mission. See you middle of May or sooner.
  22. UAE Air Force has two that I saw flying last month in Dubai.
  23. N119TG has been flying since last fall and did the vehicle airdrops for the filming of "Fast & Furious 7" in October and filmed a segment for Top Gear a couple months ago. Both at Coolidge, AZ.
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