Mark N Posted November 26, 2011 Share Posted November 26, 2011 Book Review: â€œThe Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules: A Complete Historyâ€, by Peter C. Smith (Crecy Publishing, latest printing 2010). My first recommendation is DO NOT PURCHASE THIS BOOKâ€”IT IS A WASTE OF MONEY (list price $49.95). Being a C-130 fan, I am a sucker for C-130 books. I regret that a got suckered into buying this one. Even though I have not read the text to discover what inaccuracies exist there, I found that many of the photo captions in this book are inaccurate or totally incorrect. The captions appear as though the author simply fabricated them instead of performing research to ensure they are accurate. Here are a few examples of the fabricated captions: 1. Page 82: The caption reads: â€œHuman Retrieval experiments underway with a volunteer seen leaving the after bay of 64-14859 (c/n 4082), equipped with the Surface-to-Air recovery system.â€ The real story: If the aircraft is experimenting with the â€œHuman Retrieval Systemâ€, then the â€œvolunteerâ€ is being retrieved into the cargo hold of the aircraftâ€”he is not leaving the after bay. The term the Air Force uses for the â€œHuman Retrieval Systemâ€ is the Fulton Recovery System. 2. Page 88: The caption reads: â€œHuman Retrieval System testing being conducted by C-130E 64-0572 (c/n 64-4090).â€ The real story: This is a MC-130E conducting personnel airdrops; the aircraft is dropping paratroopers, not testing the â€œHuman Retrieval Systemâ€. 3. Page 161: The caption reads: â€œA C-130 of the 50th Airlift Squadron lands at Little Rock AFB during Operation â€œMillennium Challengeâ€ in 2002.â€ The real story: This aircraft is not landing at Little Rock AFB. I am currently at Little Rock AFB, and this photo was not taken at Little Rock AFB. 4. Page 202: The caption reads: â€œC-130E 64-0504 (c/n 3988) of 62 Marine Airlift Wing is seen at McChord MAS on 19 October 1978â€¦.â€ The real story: This aircraft is assigned to the 62nd Military Airlift Wing, which is located at McChord Air Force Base. I am truly annoyed that an author would attempt to pass off writing of this quality as authoritative. That is in addition to my being insulted that the author and his publisher would expect consumers to pay for this quality of work. The poor and inaccurate quality of this book follows a trend I have observed for at least the last fifteen yearsâ€”the declining quality of published works. My observation is that authors make no effort to ensure the quality and technical accuracy of their writing. First is the quality of the writing itself. Yes, all the words are correctly spelled, as they should be with the aid of spell check, but the wrong words are routinely used (â€œthenâ€ instead of â€œthanâ€â€”the C-130 is faster then the C-119â€¦). The second issue is the technical accuracy of the subject matter. Authors seem to fabricate material based on having half-knowledge of it and pass it off as authoritative. How many young minds are being fed bad information because some author thinks he/she knows what they are writing about and are too lazy to confirm the accuracy of their work? I have seen this poor quality in a variety of publicationsâ€”from magazines and journals to â€œqualityâ€ published books by such publishers as Schiffer (who publishes many military and aviation titles, many which contain inaccurate information). In terms of the C-130, I think I know what Iâ€™m talking about. I am a U.S. Air Force C-130 navigator with over 25 years and 6,000 flying hours of experience in C-130 operations. Maybe I should write a bookâ€¦. Lt Col Mark Naumann Little Rock AFB, Arkansas Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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