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MHeflin

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Posts posted by MHeflin

  1. My opinion is based primarily on the facts and findings of the investigation as disclosed in the article:

    Maintenance Failures

    "Though no one on the plane could have stopped the events that unfolded, the maintenance community could have prevented them. The investigation found a failure to inspect the propeller during its last depot maintenance period, as well as missed opportunities during squadron-level maintenance to potentially notice the corroded blade."

    In retrospect my inclusion of "everyone" probably was not the best choice of words because it could be interpreted to include the crew and that certainly is not the case. The facts and findings of the investigation say it all and they officially have the last word. The bottom line is that this was a preventable situation and I hope that the community at large learns something from it to ensure that it never happens again.  

  2. I'm doing some research on RCAF CC-130E 130329, which crashed during a LAPES delivery on 16 Nov 1982 at CFB Namao. Specifically what happened. All I've found at the moment is that the load hung up at extraction, there was the obvious CG shift followed by the aircraft departing from flight mode and being subsequently destroyed. I'm hoping that someone on this site may remember any findings from the AIB, or have in-depth knowledge about what actually happened IE rigging error, equipment failure, procedural error, or crew error. 

    Any help is appreciated and please send via PM to this site. 

  3. Disclaimer: The following story was conveyed to me by a Flight Engineer almost 40 years ago. Both of us were sober at the time (sort of) and please note that it did not start off with "this is aint no BS"; which as we all know is the prelude to a war story of questionable truth. While some degree of truth may have been told there is the possibility that he might have embellished the tale a bit.

    So this FE had flown multiple tours on gunpigs out of Thailand during the Big One (WW Viet Nam) and the way the story went he had flown with an IO who would drop off the ramp (on a harness of course) and be towed along behind the aircraft. After a while the IO would get tired, call the Pilot on inter-phone and request permission to come back aboard. The Pilot at that point holler for someone to "haul that dumb SOB back in" (or words to that effect).  

  4. Multiple systemic failures on a massive scale, with overtones of criminal negligence. Everyone who touched this aircraft, inspected it, or supervised/commanded those who did are responsible for this tragedy. This is not about an individual making a mistake; it's about a cancerous system riddled with problems. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones. This on top of what they have already suffered is so unfair. 

  5. Yeah, definitely not enough room on that puppy for all the candles you'd need to show how old he is. If you do decide to go for it though please be sure to notify the Fire Dept. prior to ignition; as you want them rolling towards your location before all those candles hit full flame. It's going to take some serious effort to put em out. Just saying.

    The positive news Fritz is that now you've got some Old to go with all that Cranky!!   

  6. I'm trying to locate Pilot and/or Loadmaster Checklists (Amplified, or Abbreviated) for LAPES. Please check your attics, basements, garages, or the dusty archives of your computer for any electronic copies that you may have stashed away "just in case" you might ever need them again. Will pay photo copying/shipping costs for hard copies. 

    PM me if able to assist.

    Mark  

  7. On the ramp for a SAREX in NW Iran way up near the Soviet border with the IIAF, UK RAF, German Luftwaffe and Pakistani AF. Caused an international incident by borrowing a mongo C02 fire extinguisher from the airfield to cool the beer, due to no ice being available at the hotel. Problem was that it was the only fire extinguisher on the airfield and the Iranians were none too happy about it being taken to town. Even more upset when they got it back empty. Ah, the things you could get away with as an A1C back in 77. 

    962 Iran001.jpg

  8. That looks like an old friend. I flew 962 in it's past life when it was an HC-130H assigned to the 67th ARRS (76 - 78) at RAF Woodbridge. At that time we had 2 Hs (962 and 976), 2 Ns (820 and 826) and 2 Ps (220 and 223 (?)). The Hs and Ns were grey birds with the yellow ARRS chicken stripes on the wings and aft of the troop doors, the Ps were SEA camo. Hs and Ps had the Fulton noses, all had the Cooks tracker domes on top of the fuselage and the Overhead Delivery System (ODS) in the cargo compartment. The ODS had been developed for the Gemini space program in the event that one of the capsules landed outside it's designated area. The ARRS Herks would search for them and if located drop the astronauts an MA-1 kit, 5 bundles with rafts in # 1 and 5 and survival gear in 2 - 4. Kits would be dropped upwind from the survivor, with # 3 in the middle. Rafts would inflate upon landing then drift down so that the survivor/s would be encircled by all 5 bundles.

    By the time I got to rescue the days of supporting manned spaceflight were over, but we'd normally have one rigged and ready when ever we flew Duck Butts. These were long, long missions where we'd go out to 50N/30W and orbit for hours and hours providing rescue support for fighter formations coming over to, or from Europe and whenever the C-123s, or C-7s flew the Atlantic on their way to REFORGER, usually in the Autumn. We also flew  Duck Butts anytime AF 1, or AF 2 flew the Atlantic. When Jimmy Carter went to Monrovia in 78 we flew to Ascension Island and staged from there to provide rescue coverage. When he flew from Belgium to Tokyo over the Pole, we staged from Thule, Greenland and set up an orbit literally at the N. Pole. During that mission we developed an oil leak on 2 engines and had a 3rd that was running hot and had to be feathered. Not a good spot to be in when flying overhear the most remote spot on the planet. We requested permission to leave orbit and return to Thule, but were denied and told to remain on station until the King bird from Kadena picked up coverage on their end. As soon as we handed off we declared an IFE and started to limp back. By the time we were overhead Thule we had another one caged and a third running rough. Someone was definitely watching out for us that day, but it wasn't Jimmy Carter.        

  9. Just watch the news. Where they go will depend upon which state/Gov. needs to be stroked, or that the Fed Gov needs that state/Gov. to do something, or turn a blind eye to. It's all about the politics baby! Although, I might be wrong and it could just be about payback and/or the Lobbyists.

  10. I've never understood why the AF doesn't adopt the 2-tier system for pilots. Those having visions of being the next Chief of Staff would opt for a staff job/higher HQ route at mid-term O-4, while those not interested in stars and glory would remain in the cockpit for their entire career. Only the most senior pilots would be considered for O-5 Squadron CC positions, while Wing Kings, etc. and higher would be selected from those taking the staff route.   

  11. Unfortunately the days of the MC-H are probably over. Today it's all about the MC-J Commando II and MV-22 in the long-range infil/exfil role. Although in the Gunship world they'll probably want to keep the Whiskies and U-Boats going for a few more years until they can get the AC-J fully up to speed. I suspect it won't be many more years before it will be an all J fleet in all variants throughout the active AF. And then on to the Guard and Reserve.

    AMP? What AMP?   

  12. Well I've told this story before, but forgive me for telling it once more. Especially today.

    It's hard to believe that it's been 35 years since the loss of 0543. At the time I was assigned to the 62nd and had gone out with students the day prior (05/12) to drop CDS with 0543. We got everything rigged, completed all briefings, fired up and taxied out to go attack the moles living underneath All American DZ once again. During run-up I noticed that we had severe leakage coming out of the saber mast on # 3 motor, let the Eng. know, who came back to take a look and then promptly told the AC to head back to parking. MX came out pulled everything apart, did their magic and told us to try again. Which we did with the same results. We ran that sucker up a total of 3 times until a 9-level finally made the decision that an engine change was required, put the bird on a Red X and our day was done.

    On the 13th a 50th crew was assigned 0543 for a morning Tac sortie and had the same thing happen to them that we had on the 12th. Likewise they ended up cancelling for MX.

    On the evening of the 13th a 62nd crew was prepping for the night Tac sortie and their bird took a dump near station time. The AC was a hard charger and made the decision to go to the spare. Well as fate would have it the locked and cocked spare that night was 0543. The crew jumped onboard, fired her up, taxied out, blasted off to catch up with the formation and never made the join-up.

    Bottom line is that the first crew to get that aircraft airborne never got to make the trip back to the squadron in the crew bus. So tragic.

    RIP my Brothers.      

  13. Bob;

    Wow! Those are staggering numbers. I know that management continuously beats the drum and chants the mantra that we must "do more with less" but at some point it's all going off the rails. This continuous process of purging, then gorging is dangerous and part of the reason that the national budget is trillions of dollars in debt.

    Politicians and the military leadership need to determine just how big and bad they want the USA to be, confirm that the public concurs, then build a military capability around the goal in terms of type and amount of equipment, plus people to operate and maintain it. The current endless quest to chase, obtain and engage the latest technology, with no regard for cost is insanity.         

  14. Fact: the USAF is being down-sized; again. In a perfect world of fiscal responsibility, efficiency and economy of operations, low-time, still fully functional aircraft could be turned over to a civilian operator and flown as CRAF-style assets to augment the short-fall that will occur after all cuts have been made and the dust settles. And there most definitely will be short-falls.

    Missions could include firefighting, non-tactical logistics (similar to the old LOGAIR, QUICKTRANS), airdrop test support to DoD test ranges, air refueling training support, natural disaster response, border security logistics, the list is endless.

    And yes, a program like this would also provide employment and generate income for the local and national economy.

    But it's not going to happen because aircraft OEMs, the lobbyists and the lawyers won't allow it to happen. The reason these aircraft will be scrapped quickly is to prevent the implementation of any concept similar to the one described above.   

     

       

  15. Hey Fritz, here's a novel idea... let's spend a ton of taxpayer money on them, get them shining like new pennies, equip them with the latest and greatest gee-gaws, then give them to whatever flavor of the month nation we're trying to convince that we're nice guys. They can then either crash them within a short period of time due to lack of training and/or flying abilities, or else they'll be grounded due to unskilled mechanics and/or lack of parts and rot away on the ramp.

    Either way they're going to be scrap, so you just might as well turn them into beer cans and be done with it.  

  16. So the J-models flown by 62nd are crewed by " the onboard staff to two pilots and one person responsible for the cargo". No commander that I ever served with in the 62nd, nor any other flying squadron I flew with during my 22 years would disrespect Loadmasters in this way. Must be how things are done in the "new" AF. Shameful. Must make talking on the intercom much more difficult.... "uh Pilot to person responsible for the cargo"
      
      

  17. From 16th Airlift Sq. History and Lineage:

    Emblem: On a Yellow disc edged with a narrow Blue border; a Red lion rampant with Red tongue, White wings, grasping in its dexter paw a White short sword with blade up and in its sinister paw a White rolled scroll, all details Black. Approved on 17 Dec 1980 (KE 72060); replaced emblem approved on 25 Jun 1951 (K 6239).

  18. I was across the street in the 62nd when they made the change over; teaching airdrop, dropping concrete and railroad ties on All American DZ 3 nights a week and calling Randolph most days trying desperately to go back overseas.

    The story was that the fellas in the 16th hated the flying turd and that the Lowenbrau lion was chosen while sitting around drinking a few adult beverages.

    The Griffin is actually a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet.

       Related image

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