Tuesday, July 11, 2017

KC-130 crashed

The NY Post has the story from AP, reporting at least 16 people have died, and the search is still on through the night.

This photograph got me. The photo on NY Post is cropped originally from FOX 40 Twitter account. It looks as if the plane is completely flattened.

Original photo behind this.

You can see why they cropped the photo, shame all around because this photo seems extremely tragic art.

My longest term friend, now an acquaintance still living nearby who I speak with once a year on average, at most twice a year, flew C-130 airplanes for the Navy. Back then he thought he could walk  through walls. He's toned down the bravado considerably since then.  If you've ever seen one these planes up close the impression it makes is like the same thing as flying a house. A big house. A McMansion. Because the pilots are way up there on top of it. 

They're cargo planes. That's what the "C" stands for. I have no idea what the "K" means.  The type that my acquaintance flew was for conducting experiments. It had different accoutrements attached to it, and painted white with red stripes.  And it was flying these planes that instilled in him the awareness of outrageous government waste. The pilots had to keep up their flight hours and that meant flying for no good military purpose other than pilot flight hours. So a lot of flights were random, like picking up crab in Maryland. They called the exercises  "crab run" putting emphasis on the bizarrely steep expense of maintaining flight proficiency. 

This plane that crashed carried fuel. Here's a photo of the plane from Wikipedia.

It's a beautiful plane. They still fill me with awe. They drive tanks right up the back of these planes. 


edutcher said...

Originally known as the Pregnant Guppy (I remember when they came out). Once they proved themselves, Herky-Bird and others followed.

K is simply a designation for tanker. All the other letters were taken.

AllenS said...

How terrible.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm not quite sure what's offensive about the cropping.

rhhardin said...

I think passengers call them the great shaky, though I can't find it on google.

All my MATS flights were on a DC-6 DC-7 or 707.

rhhardin said...

Oh and a DC-4 and DeHaviland Caribou for short island hops.

Chip Ahoy said...

That's a beautiful potato field.

Agricultural fields get me every time. I mean it.

I dreamed of driving a tractor and making perfect rows and turns, and one day that dream came true and I got my chance. But no plants were involved. We were just grooming the fields.

My C-130 pilot acquaintance emailed right back. He said that the ones used for tankers employ rubber bladders to contain the jet fuel. Usually the operation is excessively safe. But all it takes is the wrong conditions and one little spark. He believes there was probably an explosion in flight.

I learned by osmosis through conversation of my Dad and his friends that when they are flying they removed any and all jewelry, even their wedding rings.

Leland said...

Originally known as the Pregnant Guppy (I remember when they came out).

Your memory is slipping.

A Pregnant Guppy is a modified Stratocruiser, which itself is a modified B-29. A B-29 is a Boeing design with a wing below the fuselage. A Pregnant Guppy is loaded in the front with a hinged fuselage that swings open along a vertical axis. It could be loaded in the rear by disassembling the tail section.

A C-130 is a Lockheed Martin design with a wing above the fuselage. It is loaded in the rear via a ramp that swings open along a horizontal axis.

About the only thing in common between a Pregnant Guppy and a C-130 is 4 engines.