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C-130 News: Tanker 88 makes a cameo in The Fast and the Furious 7


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  • 7 months later...

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 loadmasters

BRS Aerospace: Parachutes and engineering support

Universal Studios: Film Crew and Special Effects (SFX) team

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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!!

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