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Skip Davenport

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Posts posted by Skip Davenport

  1. Lots of variation based on weight, but the slowest I've seen was under 80 knot rotate in Morrocco when an infamous 36th TAS Nav made the take off and tried to take out the GCA shack. Way too close !!! Some Stupid IP let the Flight Surgeon make the landing and he did a good job, so the Nav wanted his turn. Same trip Dale Smith our IFE beat the CP on every landing. Of course this was 1971 and fun was still part of the program. We also took pride in being able to step in and help anyone else at their position.


    Bob when I was a CP in the 776TAS we had a FE that was a riffed Capt (T-38 IP) and a LM that was a civilian T-41 contract instructor -- the both made very good landings :)

  2. Scary but true. When I was a young AC we were tasked into a uncontrolled strip in the Philippines to pick up a 12,000# portable TACAN unit that was being trucked down from the mountain top. NOTAMS stated that the 5,000 ft runway was being extended to 9,600 ft and to monitor a Wx radio frequency on the field.

    Off we go. Getting close we make a in the blind radio call on the Wx freq. and get a reply from a Filipino voice stating 500 meters, 500 meters. The Wx was clear blue skies with just some scattered puffy clouds. Wondering what the hell he was talking about we continue inbound for a random steep approach.

    I called for flaps 50 gear down -- response flaps 50 gear down -- three green -- on final I called for flaps 100 and continued slowing to Max Effort speed. Touching down 50 ft from the end of the runway I went into full reverse and started breaking. The runway was domed. We crested I saw the end of the runway a LOT closer than expected. I looked at the FE and he just slumped his shoulders (as to say everything is working) I pushed harder on the brakes and you could feel the anti skid cycling. We stopped with the nose in the gravel over run. Turning around and completing the Tactical engine shut down checklist (cuffing a prop). I looked down and saw that the CP hadn't moved the flaps switch to 100! when a young Filipino on a bicycle smiling ear to ear yelling 500 meters, 500 meters no think can land big airplane on only 500 meters! road up.

    As it turned out we were tasked into the wrong airport and during the runway construction they dumped the dirt from the runway extension onto good runway! This the runway being ONLY 500 meters. We spent the next 8 hrs with the engines running to burn down enough fuel to take off and did NOT take the TACAN!

    After that landing I developed a habit of touching the flap lever and gear handle every time they are called for!

  3. If it was just a few we loaded from the Crew Entrance Door for gaggles the ramp. Don't ever recall loading from the Paratroop Doors. Once in Nam we loaded V-Nav troops all the way up to FS 245 then closed the ramp and door they scurried up into the smallest of places and we loaded the rest in the crew door. Everyone was bellybutton to asshole and we must have had 6 on the top & bottom bunks and still had 20 standing on the flt deck. When we offloaded in DaNang a freedom bird crew said it looked like the circus clowns unloading from a VW bug -- they just kept getting out and out and out :) We estimated we must have had 300 on board. But when the bad guys overran the place there were no good guys left to get hurt or dead!

  4. The Combat Talons were redesignated by Headquarters USAF early 1977 to MC -- they were previously designated C-130E(I) STAR, after MOD-70 there were three designations C-130E©-Clamp for STAR, C-130E(Y)-Yank for PACAF non-STAR, C-130E(S)-Swamp non STAR 64-0571 & 2.

  5. To begin with, the MC-130 designation didn't even come out until 1978. I was at Pope in the 779th when the first C-130E-Is were delivered. Now bear in mind that ARRS already had HC-130HS that had the Fulton system on them. For some reason TAC decided to have it installed on enough E-models to set up a squadron with four detachments. We were briefed on the new mission then several of us went to the flight line to check out the first one, which had just been delivered from Lockheed. The only thing different about it was that it had the Fulton system on the nose with cables running to the wingtips and the winch in the back. They also had terrain-following autopilots like the ones used on B-52s. (People who weren't around back then don't realize that SAC used to fly low-level missions at night simulating nuclear delivery.) Other than that, they were just another E-model. In fact, the 779th went on a 90-day TDY to Mactan to "get more combat experience" and while we were gone the wing at Pope pulled the winch equipment out of the airplanes and installed dual rails and used them for regular TAC training missions. There is an Air Force video on the Traditions C-130 video that shows one of the airplanes taking off from Pope. That particular film was shot to introduce mechanics to the C-130E and I sort of think they used one of the -Is to make it. Later on they started installing a bunch of additional equipment such as a radio operators station, an EWO station and some other equipment that wasn't originally on the airplane. They also painted them with special paint that was supposed to absorb radar energy - it was black and green. Then they sent a couple to CCK and they started flying the same missions Naha crews had been flying in A-models for years, particularly leaflet drops over North Vietnam. The only missions flown with the Fulton system were training missions.

    Sam when I was assigned to Talons in 1977 they were MC's and not true that the only STAR (Fulton) missions flow were training.

  6. http://www.theridehome.com/ This site The Ride Home is honoring all former Prisoners of War and remembering those still Missing In Action.

    This is a great organization and could use your help in honoring these POW & MIA's. If you would be interested in being a sponsor or just make a donation to help host a POW or know of a POW or POW family check out there web page.

    Just getting the word out to everyone you know will help. Thanks

    Also, they have an urgent need if you can help.

    Hi Skip! Need some help (again). I have a contributor in Alaska who is prepared to donate two Harley Davidson Stratocaster Guitars, an antique gold Harley Davidson collectors edition pocket watch and other antique Harley memorabilia to The Ride Home Poker run I am organizing here in Florida. The problem - the donor does not have the funds to ship these items from Fairbanks to here and I don't have the budget to do this myself. I'm donating all overhead for this event out of my own pocket as my contribution to our Former POW's and MIA Families. Do you have contacts in the flying community who could at least help get these items down to a location in the continental US where they could then be shipped the rest of the way for a reasonable price?

    Shipper: Mrs. Katlynn Thompson (daughter of a WWII POW executed by the Japanese)

    Contact Paul Widener, for contact information for Mrs Thompson at 207 Inlet Shores Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168, Phone: 910-382-5286. Mailing address for donation of shipping cost: Rolling Thunder Florida Chapter 8, PO Box 2573, Ormond Beach, FL 32175, Phone: Dick Allison, 386-290-1738. I appreciate you trying to help us find a solution. We're going to auction these off to sponsor POWs and MIA Families

  7. Bob

    When I was at HRT we used them for pilot pro's, Nav trainers and pilot Inst/proficieny checkrides. There was the ocasional airlift and trash haul mission also. Back then that was the main justification in getting them as they are cheaper to operate than a Gunship or Talon for those missions.


  8. Skip, anybody told Flame and Dirt Bag about # 7785,she was their favorite? My last flight before retiring was on her from Udon-Thanni to Kadena summer of '94. 10.5 hours on 3 motors. Will never forget bagging a motor while on the boom. Was also on # 567 at Rio-Hato. When, if my memory serves me right, you and Harvey hit the tree and departed with only 3 turning. We spent the rest of the night FARRP, ing the little birds then left without enough gas to get home unless the the tanker was still around. Thankfully the 135 was still hanging around.

    Yep that was me :) -- left all but min crew there to go home with Thigpen -- I remember before we were to taxi up the FARRP crew hadn't got there stuff on board and I told the load to tell them to leave it and stay with it or get abord and go with me. As it turned out they wouldn't have had to walk back if they had stayed :)

  9. Have any of you heard of this DBIDS thing?

    Seems everyone is supposed to get fingerprinted and their ID cards scanned and if not done we will no longer have access to the base.

    I was not notified of this nor were many other retirees. I happened across an old friend today who told me about it and I guess I will have to go wait in line for hours tomorrow to get this done.

    DBIDS supposedly stands for “ Defense Biometrics Identification System Implementation."

    If you know about this tell me what it is for and about.


  10. Talk about enduring designs. Those T-38's have been flying for almost 50 years; C-130's for even more. By those standards the B-25 and T-33 were short-lived! I also flew C-141's and when those were retired they had 40,000 to 50,000 hours on the airframes--they'd earned their rest at Davis-Monthan.


    Alan -- I flew Talon 1's with over 64,000 hours and most of that time was low level not doing high altitude strat airlift like the T-tails -- and some of those are still flying today.

  11. If you're talking about logistically, I'd agree. But the C-130 wasn't designed for logistics. It was designed to be a combat troop carrier with the mission of hauling a load of troops 1,500 miles and delivering them either onto a drop zone or onto a forward field in a combat zone. The last time C-130s were used in that role was in 1972 except for the drops at Panama. The C-130 came out of a long and rich heritage that started in New Guinea in 1942. AMC came out of a logistical mission that started in the US at about the same time and which was essentially a military airline.

    Sam we took fire going into Grenada during our Airdrop and landing to offload the equipment we couldn't drop also Talon 1's did airdrops in Kosova.

  12. Giz

    Sounds just like I remember. Yes, once the chute was deployed you pulled on the looped red cord and it did the cut. The hook knife was to be used IF the lines didn't cut. Trivia -- the hook was supposed to be the "switch blade" not the knife edge. However, when the manufacture looked at the design they decided there was a mistake and made the standard switch blade knife.


  13. Received email: First flight of HC-130J scheduled for about 0900L tomorrow (7/30/10). Eric Thompson is one of the pilots. We think 7 USG guests led by Lt Col Martin O’Grady (Recapitalization Program Manager) and Mr Jeff Stanley (Deputy Director, SOF and Personnel Recovery) plus Lt Col Sean Farrell from SAF AQQU will observe the flight. ACC reps Vanik and Borowski will also attend.

    Eric is an old Talon I driver

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