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Posts posted by Fred


    On 6/3/2023 at 8:39 PM, Randy Odette said:

    "Certainly a lot of discussion about E flight and Heavy Chain...My aircraft was 1859 and the other four were 7879, 0497, 0515, and 7868... we all had TS clearances and to costly and time delays in conducting more clearances. Thanks folks"

    62-1859...the one and only '62 model in the wing, while I was there Nov '80 - Oct '90. I remember 497 for a couple of things...Night vis nine-ship ORI mission in the ROK. We were #9 (again). I remarked how good 497's SKE was working, cuz if it was IFR, we'd surely have some problem with it. Another time with 497 was doing a short partial FCF at Clark for something, and left main didn't extend all the way when it was time to land. The co-pilot Ben went back to assist, and they determined that some kind of cover on the inside of the strut had worked loose enough to cause a jam. Some persuasion rectified the situation, and all was then well.The others you mention were still there at Yokota in the late '80's, doing their duty after the wing moved up from Clark in '88. I flew 497 just a couple of months before I PCS'd. We still did most of the tac training down at Clark. 

    The classified mission the wing had while I was there was on the schedule as "AF SAM" (Special Assignment Mission). There were two grey airplanes 73-1597 and 73-1598. Bldg 7709 (as I recall) at Clark was where the 21st was and in the back on the west side, was a room that they told me used to be where "E Flight" did their stuff. I guess it had been a vault, because it was definitely heavier duty construction. I never asked about"E" flight cuz was none of my business, and I made it a rule not to know anything classified unless I had to. If we had to refer to one of those AF SAMs, it was called "a projects mission". We worked for Thirteenth Air Force in this case, and Fifth AF later on. 73-1598 is a "gate guard" at Great Falls airport and 73-1597 became Coors cans or something. 

    My last PACAF trip was with 73-1597 a week before i PCS'd. Clark-Cubi-Kadena-Iwakuni-Yokota. We had the channel mission for a while cuz 141's were very busy.


    1990-10-14 , 73-1597, NAS Cubi Pt..JPG

  2. On 5/30/2021 at 8:27 PM, businessdr said:

    It is over 4 years since my post above, and I have still not seen anything regarding the missions we flew in the '80s out of Clark AB. That mission was very different from the other E-flight missions that have been broadly discussed, but to this date I have heard only silence. Does anything know if this mission has ever become unclassified? I can understand why if not, but I am hoping to tell the story some day...

    I have no idea whether the Special Assignment Airlift (SAM) missions, Heavy Jump/Sage Owl, flown by the 374 TAW during the 80's are still classified. Probably.

    1598 avoided the beer can material fate.



    Nice to see that. Kudos to the 120th Airlift Wing guys!    1597 Was at Birmingham last info I've seen from the roster on this website

  3. On 12/3/2020 at 11:43 PM, mrjpc130h said:

    hello herkys... has anyone knows during training touch and go cant be aborted? any references pls

    You will have to be more specific. Are you asking "is it possible"? Or are you asking "is it allowed?

    Possible? Sure! This a "gray area" So many factors apply to the problem that it is impossible to say yes or no. We hope that the pilot in command is qualified to make a judgment about aborting a touch and go, and has thought about "what if?"

    Allowed? Depends upon whose airplane you're flying and their rules. If I remember correctly, one USAF command specified a minimum of 5,000 feet runway available for a 50% flap touch-and-go landing. Does having the minimum required guarantee a safe operation? No.

    Could you apply the logic of: "If the minimum wasn't good enough; it wouldn't be the minimum" ? Yes, but under some conditions, that could get you killed...

  4. Pictures I've seen looks like #3 and #4 props mostly missing, rt external mostly missing, left refueling pod missing, #1 prop severely damaged, gear up, flaps up. Fuel "leak". The crew audio I've heard mentions two engines out. Does anyone have information as to the status of # 1, whether they were getting any thrust from it? Damaged during flight or the "slide-out"?

  5. That's what we called a "whiz wheel" for calculating take-off and landing speeds and some other important airplane performance information. Very useful and practical device. I don't remember seeing one in use after the 70's or maybe early 80s. The Air Force started requiring the flight engineer to use the charts and tables from the big thick Performance  Manual. For some reason. I Never heard the official reason. They made it through Vietnam with plenty of hairy short field or dirt field ops with the wheel, but suddenly it wasn't "good" enough I suppose. I would keep the manual together with the device. I've got an "E" model wheel, but somewhere the case and manual went missing. My $0.02

  6. Hmmm...I know Wikapedia isn't necessarily the gospel in every case; but...

    Design and development

    At first, the United States Air Force intended the conversion to be an easy matter of removing the carrier-specific features, so no prototypes were ordered, just five pre-production RB-66A models (the reconnaissance mission being considered a high priority). The list of modifications grew, and before long, the supposedly easy conversion became what was substantially a new aircraft. Many of the changes were due to the USAF's requirement for low-level operations, while the Navy version had originally been designed and employed as a high-altitude nuclear strike bomber. Two major differences between the A-3 and the B-66 consisted in the types of jet engines used, and the emergency crew escape systems. The A-3 had two J57 turbojet engines, whereas the B-66 had two Allison J71s. The B-66 was equipped with ejection seats whereas the A-3 was not.

    The first RB-66A pre-production aircraft flew in 1954, whereas the first production RB-66B aircraft flew in the beginning of 1955.

    The basic B-66 design proved to be a versatile one, and was produced or modified into a variety of other versions, including the EB-66, RB-66, and the WB-66. Likewise, many variants of the A-3 Skywarrior were produced.

    Operational history

    RB-66B of 19 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron based at RAF Sculthorpe England in 1957

    Deliveries to the Air Force began in 1956, with 145 of this model produced. RB-66s were used as the primary night photo-reconnaissance aircraft of the USAF during this time, many examples serving with tactical reconnaissance squadrons based in the United Kingdom and in West Germany. A total of 72 of the B-66B bomber version were built, 69 fewer than originally planned. A total of 13 B-66B aircraft later were modified into EB-66B electronic countermeasures (ECM) aircraft for the cold war with Russia, and were stationed at RAF Chelveston with the 42nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron who did the conversion in the early 1960s. They would rotate out of an alert pad in Spain during the time that the 42nd had them. These and the RB-66Cs that the 42nd had would eventually be sent to Vietnam. Unlike the U.S. Navy's A-3 Skywarrior, which performed some bombing missions, the Destroyer was not used as a bomber in Vietnam.

    Specifications (B-66)

    General characteristics


    One of the guys in my first ops duty in Thailand had been in B-66 bomb-droppers in France earlier in his career. He wasn't an EWO. Makes me wonder if the crew make-up was pilot, nav-bomb, and EWO in the bombers. For sure there wouild have been an EWO in the EB's. I suspect that this post is bs of somekind. No FE in B-47 or B-52. "Unlike...the Destroyer was not used as a bomber in Vietnam..." according to Wikapedia.

  7. Any updates to the circumstances of this tragic mishap? Was the airplane equipped with a FDR and CVR? Recovered? I would expect that progress reports have been issued by the safety investigation board? "Used-to-be"...each wing operating herks would be on the distribution list.

    From what I can see of the videos...the takeoff and climb appeared to be an unusual combination of attitude and bank right away after takeoff. Nose high and a lot of right bank it looks like. Hard to tell from the distance and angle. I too can imagine a static #1 propeller in a few frames of one of the videos.

    I also can see what looks like a big yaw angle to the left developing and progressing to stalling that wing.

    I was initially thinking big-time prop malfunction, but I would have expected some kind of grounding of HamStandard props-equipped planes to have occurred already, if that were the case.

  8. Long time ago and some years after I left the "Harsh, Unique, Arctic Environment". I recall reading the final message copy of the report, if I remember correctly. At least it was a very comprehensive version of the safety report. Pope crew during Jack Frost exercise with --I believe-- a medevac involvement. Somebody's E-model.

    Seems the winds were out-of-limits per the 616MAG local directive. I don't believe that wind limits were specified in the 22AF Summary; just the "strip check" part. Icy runway? Have to see some pictures and the report. If it was significant ice on runway, you'd have to be nuts to go in there with strong and/or gusty wind period.

    I think what got 'em was combination of x-wind, light weight, slippery to some extent, and pulling 'em to max reverse right away with 100% flap extended.

    I believe I remember the safety report brought in some aspect of a crewmember's previous personal life; which I thought was just chicken dirt, having nothing to do with flying an airplane.  Like I said, long time ago.


  9. 13 hours ago, moosemodeler said:

    Fred,  thank you for the reply ! 

    Did you deploy with the normal personal equipment for the situation ? Flight Helmet, Survival Vest ect...

    Helmet? Yes.  No sweep-on masks on the airplanes. Most guys had to carry the helmet every flight to have some way to don oxygen and have comm. Some former "big MAC" guys had a quick donning arrangement for oxygen mask, so they could have oxygen with a regular headset.

    As far as survival gear...I don't remember. I don't even know if the 54th maintained combat survival gear available. I was still a "new guy" in Herks, and weather recon was kind of an off-beat corner of the USAF Herk world.

  10. On 2/27/2017 at 2:51 PM, moosemodeler said:

    During the conflict, were the USAF Tactical Airlift units alerted ot placed on a heightened state of readiness during this period ?  

    Don't know about trash haulers, but 54th WRS (MAC) launched us toward the (secret) dispersal? location. Made it as far as Makapu Beach. My first visit to the lovely Hawaiian Isles courtesy of Uncle Sam. :) Then they turned us around. :( October, as i recall, 1973.

  11. Nope. That version was inaugurated during the time frame after August 1973 when I arrived at the 54th. The earlier version was a buzzard sitting on some clouds on a world globe background. You can search on 54WRS images. I just did. That image was the first one on the page. The unit call sign was "Swan xx". I guess someone thought that an australian black swan would be "cooler" (that's what it's supposed to be). When it'54th Weather Reconaissnace Squadron.jpgs embroidered on a mediocre quality patch...looks more like a coot to me. The preceding words: one old man's recollection and $0.02 worth.

  12. I was assigned to the 54 WRS at the time of the accident. The runway was 6R I believe. It was night. The Andersen runways at the time had a pronounced concave contour with the approach end and departure end elevations being higher than the midpoint of the runway length. In other words: downhill the first part of takeoff ground run, and uphill the later part; you would have to climb a bit just to clear the end of the runway. As I remember it, the C-130 touched down off the right side of the runway and before the end of the runway, and the debris field extended to the cliff and over the side down towards the reef at water's edge. I don't remember the weather at the time, but VMC or IMC same difference, because there was zero visual cues from the surface once you lost sight of the airfield and runway lights. Night takeoffs like that can cause visual and sensory illusions, and early or rapid flap retraction could add the risk of spatial disorientation. Flaps come up; nose pitches up; but climb doesn't increase...relax a little back pressure...could happen very easily. A copy of the publicly releasable portion of the accident report should be obtainable. No voice or data recorders in those days, so investigation and reporting relied in a large measure on "educated guesses".

  13. On 3/7/2016 at 3:04 AM, NATOPS1 said:

    Aircrew in regards to Pitchlock prop operations and engine shutdown shutdown at a speed where you cannot maintain 96% or 150KTAS...

    What does your book actually say?

    Ours says "Attain a speed"

    Do you slow to determine blade angle and then shutdown at 96% or 150KTAS or at any given speed above 150KTAS?

    This situation is covered pretty well in the emergency procedures section.


    "If an RPM of at least 96% cannot be maintained
    when slowing to 150 KTAS without exceeding
    engine limitations,"




    One hundred fifty knots true airspeed is the magic number. If the propeller doesn't feather when you cut the fuel off, the engine is going to experience negative torque. Of course it takes a lot of horsepower to spin that compressor and turbine and all the other parasites, specially if acceleration bleed valves are closed. the fixed-pitch prop out there will try to spin all that rotating mass, and in doing so will cause a whole lot of drag. Best to ensure that the propeller decouples when you cut the fuel, if it does not feather. Evidently Lockheed determined that 150 kt. TRUE airspeed is sufficiently fast to decouple the prop at any pitchlocked blade angle that is low enough to present excessively difficult handling problems, should it not decouple. Shutting off fuel at a higher airspeed would be overkill as far as causing decouple if it doesn't feather, and would cause higher-than-necessary noise and vibration if and when it did decouple, plus higher drag if you're real unlucky that day and it doesn't feather or decouple.

    I recall the instructor at my very first refresher simulator more than 40 years ago saying " a pitchlocked prop is a good prop". He was right, it will allow you to keep the engine running and provide some thrust until you get to somewhere you can land...a good place you hope.

    Lots of things to think about with a pitchlocked prop. Best to read all of it a couple of times; better yet...think about what could/would happen in various scenarios and how you would respond while you're hangar flying with your buddies in the bar.

    As far as an uncontrolled overspeed goes, I recall a message I saw back in the 70's and I think it came out of  Okinawa stating that the overspeeding prop caused such noise and vibration that rational thought was almost impossible. Must have turned out OK, though.

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