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C141Heaven: 2006 Blog

Thursday, November 30, 2006 01:05 pm

Fine Art -- MAC / AMC Style

On another note, a few folks have written to me at one point or another regarding a print of a tired looking crew-dog carrying his B-4 bag and other flying gear and have asked where they can get a copy.

I put a note in the blog here a few weeks back and asked for help locating the artist. After a few false leads someone has tracked the artist down and put me in touch with him. His name is Herbert C. Bailey, and he says the print is still available. However, at the current time he has no way to take orders online and would prefer that you not send emails to his work email address. Regarding the print, he had the following comments:

Although I do not have a website yet, the lithos are for sale, signed and delivered to your doorstep. The original name for the picture was Top Floor, Last Room on the Left. Over the years it has attracted other names. The original photo it was drawn from now hangs in Charlie's Bar at the Altus AFB O'Club. I took the photo in 1989 but didn't finish the drawing until 1995. It is a big seller for retirements and such.

Herbert C. Bailey
2078 Emerald Terrace
Mt. Pleasant SC 29464

If you are interested in getting one of these prints send him a note at the address above and double check to make sure they are still available and to determine the current price.

He will wait a reasonable time for your check to clear and then send you the print.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 10:43 am

Interesting Hobby

If you have ever done a tour of an FAA control center you may recall seeing those little plastic holders that hold a strip of paper that the console guys use to track the progress of flights that pass through their airspace. It's hard to believe that after all these years they are still in use, but some things are just so perfect that they never change and even in these days of computers I guess you need a manual backup of what was on that computer screen before the power went out. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a screen shot from the recent movie "FLIGHT 93". By each controller's right hand there is a bank of gravity fed strip holders which contains basic info about each flight they are tracking on their scopes.

I don't know about you, but my wife calls me a packrat (a disease I picked up from my parents) but here's a note from a former FAA flight controller named Leon Cleaver. Leon's been saving this stuff since the early 70's and it makes me feel a lot better!!

As a former Air Traffic Controller - USAF 1960-1964 (tower), FAA 1965-1981 (Cleveland ARTCC) - I took up a strange hobby, you might say, while at Oberlin. I have had a life-long interest in military aviation (although not as a military pilot) and began collecting various flight progress strips of military aircraft going through Cleveland Center airspace. After a 30 day period, these strips were tossed out as the new month came about. After reading your article, I looked through the strips and found several C-141's that had progressed through the Center airspace including one on 66-0177. I have attached some strip scans for you information.

The strips are dated on the backside (EST), but the times on front are Zulu time. I thought about taking the 0177 strip to The Air Force Museum, as I probably will go there soon, but you may enjoy the lot more. I don't know what you might do with them; maybe fellow Starlifter Pilots would like to check logbooks to see if they flew that particular C-141 on that flight & using the strip as a souvenir of sorts. I think there would be no difficulty on your part in knowing the identifiers in the routing portion of the stripes.

Leon Cleaver

PS - A fellow controller (1970's) related this to me. He was flown home in an Air-Evac C-141 with a leg in a cast along with a plane full of wounded from Vietnam. As they chatted with each other on how they were wounded, my buddy could not lie and related how he accidentally stepped off the curb in Saigon and was run over by the base shuttle bus - everyone aboard had a big laugh!

Here's a few of the strips Leon sent me. These are all from the mid to late 70's and in total there are about 70 of them. One of these days I will get around to scanning them all and posting them on a separate page.

If you'd like a detailed explanation of what all the numbers on these strips mean, check this link to a NASA site that has it all. Just hover your mouse over the individual blocks on the strip to get it expanded.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

And I was getting all Tingly Down There!!

Thinking about a flying C-141 (see entry below) was just too damn much excitement for me. I put out a call for some help and it was only about 20 minutes before I had a good, but of course, very disappointing answer.

The two individuals claiming to have spotted a C-141 over Charleston last week weren't seeing things. In fact, we had a IL-76 here for about 6 hours.

And it was a gray bird!! For those not familiar with the IL-76, it was built by the Russians, and still being produced in Uzbekistan today. It looks much like the ol' workhorse (C-141) we were accustomed to flying.

Bradley Kuhn, MSgt/WS-09, USAFR
315th Maintenance Squadron
Accessories Flight Chief
Charleston AFB, SC

This is almost certainly what they saw. WikiPedia has a great bunch of information about the IL-76, including this absolutely fascinating tid-bit: "On August 29, 2005, the day before the levees of New Orleans gave way to the forces of Hurricane Katrina, the Russian Federation offered humanitarian aid to the United States. Two (2) EMERCOM IL-76 aircraft landed at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock, Arkansas September 8. This marks the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America. A second Emergency Situations ministry IL-76 first-aid shipment, specially arranged with the U.S. leadership, departed Russia for Little Rock September 14. India also used an IL-76 to deliver aid on September 13, 2005 for Katrina victims." Hmmmmm ... FEMA couldn't get their act together, and the Rooskies are sending relief in a C-141 CLONE BEFORE the disaster even happened. Go figure.

Check WIKIPEDIA for more info.

For all of us who SHOULD know what this a/c looks like, but forgot, here's a few photos:

USAID plastic sheeting arrives in Nyala. A USAID-chartered Ilyushin-76 airplane lands at an airstrip in Nyala, South Darfur. The plane carried 640 rolls of plastic sheeting to provide shelter for more than 40,000 conflict-affected people.


Airmen from the 15th Airlift Wing wait to board an Indian IL-76 medium cargo aircraft for a training mission with an Indian aircrew visiting Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, Sept. 20. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)


An Ilyushin IL-76 loading a medium battle tank.


I "borrowed" a bunch of the shots above from a website called IMCATAERO, which seems to be at a Scandinavian Cargo Hub at Orebro Airport, the largest cargo charter airport in Sweeden. There are a lot more photos you can see at this link.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Mystery C-141 Sighting .... Is this possible?

On October 27th, I got the following email from George Miller:

From: George Miller yakimaw7@webtv.net
To: c141heaven@gmail.com
Date: Oct 27, 2006 6:32 AM
Subject: C-141

Yesterday 26 Oct, a light gray C-141 was seen flying over Charleston. Unknown Tail No. Unknown Origin. It may have something to do with the President's visit, as other White House aircraft /helicopters were also in the area. Are there C-141's still at Andrews/other?

I responded:

From: Mike Novack c141heaven@gmail.com
To: George Miller yakimaw7@webtv.net
Date: Oct 27, 2006 7:07 AM
Subject: Re: C-141

I think whoever saw this was hallucinating. The last 141 to fly was 177 on May 6th as far as I know. If you ever get another view of this a/c be sure to take a picture !!!

166 (the old CincMac plane) was flown to Scott way back in January or February and has been on display there or is being refurbed for a static display. It seems like the only possible one that could still be flown but I don't think they are flying it at all.

Maybe it was a C-17 ? I know they have been using these for all the presidential missions. I had a guy from Texas report a C-141 flying around on a presidentail visit to McAllen. Later it was confirmed by someone who knew what they saw that it was actually a C-17.

George wrote back right away:

From: George Miller yakimaw7@webtv.net
To: Mike Novack c141heaven@gmail.com
Date: Oct 27, 2006 8:06 AM
Subject: Re: C-141

I agree with what you say but being an old l41 person I recognized it right off. It was so sudden, no chance for photo. What ever it was, it wasn't a C-17.

It almost slightly resembled a DC-8, very long. But if there are none flying it must have been a flying Dutchman.

May have been one of Pres. Bush's secret "spy on us stuff"

This morning I got this note from George

From: George Miller yakimaw7@webtv.net
To: c141heaven@gmail.com
Date: Nov 1, 2006 6:31 AM
Subject: Reference C-141 sighting

Confirmed by CMST Darrell Parker retired who claims that he too saw the C-141. Chief Parker is an former Starliter Eng. with almost 20 years with the big bird. Where did it come from? Who knows?

If anyone knows anything about this please contact me via email with any details.

Maybe they are flying Cheney around to undisclosed locations in the old CINCMAC aircraft.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Very Interesting Web Site

Bob McKellar contacted me regarding a web site he manages that is devoted to "Preserved US Military Aircraft". It's got a huge list of aircraft types and links to museums all across the country where you can see them.

You can spend hours browsing there! Click Here to Go There

Monday, October 23, 2006 11:18 am

Hanoi Taxi -- Pictures from AF Museum

James Fuller stopped by the AF Museum a few days ago and took some photos of 177. He commented :

"The museum restoration staff did a really nice job repairing the damage caused by the storm. Still sad to see it sitting out there though. It is kind of cool to hear what people have to say about it when they stop to check it out. Just knowing I was a crew member on that plane makes me feel very fortunate indeed."








Monday, October 23, 2006 10:41 am

Two C-141's at Sheppard AFB

I got the following note and photos from Tom Dickerson about a week ago:

Hello, my name is Tom Dickerson. I was a C-141 Engineer at the 15th in Norton and at Altus in the school house. Now I'm at Sheppard AFB. They have two C-141's that have been moved to the north ramp to be de-miled and then sold for scrap.







I commented back to Tom:

Keep 'em coming. Once they start the scrapping it goes very fast. I have a video from a guy here at the DM boneyard showing the 'pros' chopping up a C-141 last fall. From start to a pile of 5 foot chunks was about 30 minutes,max. I don't know how proficient your local scrappers will be, but I bet it won't be that fast. If you can get some photos of the 'final moments' that would be great.

And he responded:

The last group that did the C-130's were auto alarm installers from Dallas. They came up with a brand 99 piece set of Craftsman hand tools and putzed around for about a month and the disappeared. It would had been humorous if it was not so sad to see a C-130 vandalized like that. We hope for a better, swifter fate for the C-141's. I instruct in an Avionics maintenance tech school so we get salvage a few parts for our school.

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:33 am

C-141 Sounds

If you have any 'sound' files you can share with us that would be great. These could be ground-sounds, like APU start-up, hydraulic pumps running, engine-start, and so on. Or take-off, fly-by's, intercom checklist chit-chats, air to ground communications, you name it. Anything you can send along to share would be great.

Please send them to me via email or if they are too big you can mail them on a CD.

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:15 am

UFO ... Almost

A new T-Tail Tall-Tale has been provided by Gale Meyer. See this link

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:01 am

SPACE A Web Site

Dirk Pepperd runs a web site devoted to Space-A travel. It's got a lot of information many of you who can travel that way might find very helpful.

See Space-A Message Board for all the info you'd ever want to know about Space-A

Note: If you tried this link earlier (than Friday, October 27, 2006 03:47 pm PST) there was a typo in it which has been corrected and it now points to the right place.

Sunday, September 24, 2006 12:01 pm

Crash of 64-0641 in the Olympic Mountains Near McChord

Ray Romero sent this note to me a few days ago:

To this day I still believe that I was some what remotely involved with the events that happened that fateful day.

I was onboard Navy C-1A BuNo. 146041 preparing to land at King County Airport in Seattle.



For us Non-Navy Types:Here's what a C-1A looks like



Our pilot kept asking control if that call was for him, as you will notice the similarities in call numbers. To this day I am certain that not only we were confused by that similarity but the crew of 0641 as well.

I remember later on in the evening at home listening to the news about the crash of the Starlifter in the Olympics. Further reports at the Air Station in Whidbey Island confirmed my nagging suspicions that it was the aircraft that was airborne at the same time we were in that vicinity.

Warm regards,

Ray Romero
Mangaf, Kuwait

Sunday, September 24, 2006 12:01 pm

It was a Bad Day to Fly!

Lee Waters sent in a story about a hair-raising flight involving some paratroopers and a lot of bad fuel.

Click here to read it.

9/21/2006 4:47:29 PM

American Aviation Historical Society Article

Back in the first part of the year Paul Minert asked me to write an article about the Hanoi Taxi and the C-141 in general for the American Aviation Historical Society Journal. I did and the fall issue has been released with the story as the lead article. Here's a link to a PDF file containing the full article and related photos.

If you are interested in Aviation History in general, the AAHS is a great resource. Check out their web site at this link. Annual memberships are currently about $39 for a year and well worth it.

Saturday, September 2, 2006 09:19 am

Katrina Video

I ran across this short video on a DOD web site. There's a very brief shot of the Hanoi Taxi evacuating some survivors.

Click here to view the video.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Monthly Breakfast Get-Together - Norton AFB

If you live anywhere near what used to be Norton AFB in San Bernardino ...

63rd VETS

WHEN :Come and have breakfast the 1st Tuesday of every month at 0830.

WHERE: The Airport Express (used to be a Burger King) at 157 Del Rosa Dr. San Bernardino Intl Apt. (the old Norton AFB).

Contact: Ed Jeffries 909-889-1733 or eajeffries909@aol.com

I'm sure if you weren't a 63rd VET but just love the C-141 you'd be welcome to join them.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A few shots of 177 at the NMUSAF

66-0177 was placed on public display a couple of weeks ago at the National Museum of the AF. People have started to visit and take photos which can be seen here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Power Point Patch


To all USAF military personnel: (ensure widest possible dissemination) The USAF uniform board has just released a new patch for those trapped in HHQ staff positions and other staff positions who have served above and beyond the call of duty in making time consuming POWER POINT presentations day after day, week after week, month after month without recognition. The new "PPT1000" patch, attached below, is authorized to those who have put in at least 1,000 hours on PPT presentations. Subsequent awards for 2,500 hrs, 5,000 hrs, and 10,000 hrs are to follow. Posthumous awards for those putting in over 25,000 hrs. will be presented to the next of kin, upon request. The patch may be affixed to the flight suit with Velcro or sewn on the right shoulder of the battle dress uniform. A special pin version will be developed for the blues and Mr. Rogers blue sweater. Subdued versions are not authorized at this time. Similar patches have been authorized in the past for flying combat missions, but since our real mission today is to beat the other services out of $$$ by creating spectacular PPT slides, the Board deemed this was absolutely appropriate at this time. Please submit your request to your commander or servicing MPF for issue.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 07:26 am

Some Gia Lam/POW Release photos

Despite all the hoopla about 177 being the "first into Hanoi" it was actually a C-130 that went in first. I got a photo in the mail from Lt Col Gene Thompson, who at the time was C-130 pilot on one of the C-130 missions into Hanoi. He was able to snap this shot a C-141(*) being loaded for departure at Gia Lam on 28 March 73. The C-130 crew members escorted the ex-POW's from their release point to the back of the C-141, carrying their small ditty bag of possessions.

(*) Note:On 28 March 1973, two aircraft flew into Hanoi and back to Clark: 67-0007 and 66-7944. The photo from which this was scanned was too grainy to make out the tail number of this aircraft.


By sheer coincidence, on the same day I got Gene's photo in the mail, another C141Heaven visitor, Brian Gann, ran across a web site with a few photos of the C-141s on the tarmac at Gia Lam. Here's a link to the "1st Mob/Comm" site.

With permission of the web-master of that site I've posted a few of the shots below:

The C-130 support/maintenance aircraft Operation Homecoming (POW Release) Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi, North Vietnam - 1973 - Picture by Tony Kristol

The crew of the support/maintenance aircraft Operation Homecoming (POW Release) Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi, North Vietnam - 1973 - Picture by Tony Kristol

Picture by Tony Kristol

The 1st Mob was there! The project consisted of 7 trips into Hanoi with a backup at Da Nang. One Mobster and a AN/MRC-108 radio jeep per location. 1st trip, TSgt Joseph L. Harvey III - Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi, North Vietnam MSgt Benjamin Scott - Danang AB, South Vietnam. 2nd trip MSgt Benjamin Scott - Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi SSgt Tony Kristol - Danang AB. 3rd thru 7th trips SSgt Tony Kristol - Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi TSgt Joseph L. Harvey III - Danang AB - picture by Tony Kristol

March 4, 1973
1st US POW released that day, photo by C130 copilot Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi, North Vietnam - Was on a Herc crew out of UTapao Thailand on March 4, 73 that was the first US bird into Gia Lam that day dark and rainy morning in support of Operation HomeComing, second release. LtCol Ed Jackson DO, 777 TAS Pope AFB NC was the a/c. We stopped at Saigon Tan Son Nhut for an 0'DarkThirty pick up of the "CHIP" team and various support folks who were to oversee and support the release of our POWs plus we had some NVs on board also. Bird was a C130E, # 274 I think. As first in that day, we also acted as weather bird for the Star Lifter, that came in (after the wx cleared out) to bring our men home. Wonder if that's a picture of our bird on the pock marked ramp at Gia Lam. - J.R.Repucci, Youngstown, Ohio Picture contributed by J.R.Repucci (C130 copilot)

Friday, August 25, 2006 12:37 pm

New T-Tail Tall-Tale

Fred Garrison has submitted a new Tall-Tale about a nasty sabotage incident involving 66-0183.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 02:51 pm

Update on the Status of 66-0180

Sadly, 66-0180 is in the process of being scrapped at Warner-Robbins. Wayne King stopped by their museum last week and came across the initial stages of the dismanteling effort. Check out the page for the aircraft at this link.

Saturday, August 19, 2006 07:15 am

C141heaven.infony Cash

Shortly after I returned from the May 6th retirement ceremony of the last C-141 (60177) I created a little video featuring lots of photos of C-141's set to "I've Been Everywhere" by C141heaven.info Johnny Cash. For me, this was a first attempt at such a thing and the result was OK but not great. However, through the miracle of the internet it has spread far and wide and I've received lots of nice comments about it.

If you missed it can see it at this link (it's best to right-click-save-as so you can view it again without having to download it over and over). There's 'Travels' another one I made the same day here.

A few days ago somebody sent me a note reminding me that C141heaven.infony Cash was an Air Force Man! Actually, for me it was not a reminder, as I never knew that to begin with. Here's a few details about his days in the AF:

  • Enlisted in the Air Force on July 7,1950
  • Basic training at Lackland Air Force Base
  • Technical training at Brooks Air Force Base
  • Assigned to U.S. Air Force Security Service unit at Landsberg Air Base, Gernmany
  • He was a morse code intercept operator. He later said the rhythm of the morse code help his music
  • Bought his first guitar for $5.00 while in Germany and a friend taught him a few chords
  • Founded his first band, the "Landsberg Barbarians" while at Landsberg
  • Discharged from the Air Force On July 3, 1954 with rank of staff sergeant

Sunday, August 13, 2006

"MATS: The Story of the Military Air Transportation Service"

Another eBay deal: A book published in 1964 just as the C-141 was going into service. It's a short history of MATS. The book is a masterpiece of PR boosterism for MATS (not that there's anything wrong with that). The author was a pilot in the US Army reserve, though in the inside of the dust jacket it looks like he's standing in front of an F4 .. I didn't know the army had any of those. He has written many books about aviation and military related history.

This title not particularly rare and widely available from a number of sources such as Amazon's used book service .. about $20 or so. Just do a Google search if you want a copy for your own library.

Here's a couple of shots of the dustjacket front and back.




I have been unable to locate any current (past about 2000 or so) information about the author or publisher. Here's a link to the pages of the book which have been scanned and converted to HTML for posting on the site: Click Here

Thursday, August 10, 2006 4:38 pm

Old MAC FLYER SAGE BRUSH Cartoons

Bob Faust submitted a bunch of old SAGE BRUSH cartoons which you can see on the following link: SAGEBRUSH. These are from the late 70's. I don't know if the current AMC 'management' has a sense of humor and publishes any similar material today (but for some reason, I doubt it.)

I could not tell from the scans he sent in exactly which issue of the monthly MAC FLYER they were actually from .. therefore, they are presented in no particular order. You can click on the +/- buttons to navigate forward and backwards through the list.

If you have others available please submit them to me so I can add them to these pages.

Bob also sent a video which is too large to post on the site in its current form (over 266mb). I will be trying to split it up into smaller pieces for you to enjoy.

Friday, August 4, 2006 7:49 am

Hanoi Taxi Damaged in Storm

On August 3rd, 2006, at about 3pm local time 60177 was damaged when a very bad storm blew through the Wright-Patterson area. Check out this link for details.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 3:14 pm

C-141 Still Flying .... But only in Texas

I set up a news alert on Google some time ago to send me an email whenever the word "C-141" appears in the news. Since there's not much C-141 news these days, most of the time it tells me about some AF Colonel who "used to fly C-141's" and has been promoted to base commander at some AF base.

Imagine my surprise when I got a Google alert today telling me that a C-141 landed at McAllen Airport in Texas as an advance plane carrying GWB's cars before a visit he recently paid to that sleepy border town down yonder in Texas to pander to the immigration amnesty crowd. I'm guessing this was a written by a green-behind-the-ears reporter who thinks a C-17 is a C-141.

Easy enough to confuse (if your head is where the sun don't shine but that's normal for Texans). PLEASE: That's just a joke, don't write me about it! I love the great state of Texas, but as far as I know there were never any (flying) C-141's actually based there so it rates lower on a 1 to 50 scale, than say, Oklahoma.)

Here's the text of the alert:

PREPARATIONS FOR PRESIDENT'S VISIT CONTINUES
Thursday, August 3, 2006 Posted: 1:16 PM


Thursday, August 3, 2006

MCALLEN - Security preparations are being made for President Bush's arrival in McAllen. A C-141 Starlifter cargo plane has arrived at McAllen Miller International Airport. This plane is sent in advance of every Air Force One flight. It carries the president's motorcade to the destination.

The bulletproof limousines and vans inside the plane will keep the president safe on the ground. President Bush will be making his way from the airport to Anzuldas Park in Mission.

The FAA has notified pilots of restricted airspace for private planes. They cannot land in McAllen or at the airports in Weslaco or Edinburg during the President's visit.

The airport says commercial flights will continue as normal, but there may be some delays during the President's visit. You're advised to check with your airline to see if your flight is on time.

People interested in seeing Air Force One land won't be able to see much from the airport's main entrance.

NEWSCHANNEL 5 has learned the best place to watch the landing is Cascade Park. It's located at the end of 10th street on the southeast side of the airport.

NEWSCHANNEL 5 will keep monitoring the situation and keep you up to date with the latest



I don't know how long the link will be active but here it is if you are interested: Click Here for NewsChannel5!. There's a link to a video clip. I was hoping for film of a C-141 landing, but all I could get it to play was commercials.

PS: The headline PREPARATIONS FOR PRESIDENT'S VISIT CONTINUES is grammatically incorrect. It should be PREPARATIONS FOR PRESIDENT'S VISIT CONTINUE, but remember, TV news works under very strict dealines, so proofreading is not part of the time budget (and this was written in Texas).

Thursday, August 3, 2006 3:14 pm

Nice Patches

Here's a link to some patches created by Don Spering. There's an email address for him on the page. Contact him there if you wish to purchase any of these items. These were loaned to me by Paul Minert so I could scan them for the site. I have no idea what they cost.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 9:11 am

eBay MANIA: Maybe a new record!

From time to time someone writes me and asks where they can get a good model kit of a C-141. I always suggest eBay. There seems to be a steady supply of kits available for purchase and until this auction (see below) the prices have been pretty reasonable.

Yesterday, this one went over the top. Notice that the winning bidder has zero feedback usually an predictor of someone who is new to eBay and will get carried away in the final exciting minutes of the auction. More power to the seller, but a zero feedback buyer is also someone who is less likely to pay when they realize that paying is not optional and they just spent too much! However, in this case, another 141 fan/wacko with lots of experience bidding was right behind him.

People, please! Do the rest of us a favor: Remain calm when bidding on eBay. $93 would buy a lot of beer.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 2:29 pm

65-0238 In Hanoi

By now, we all know that 66-0177 was the first C-141 to fly into Hanoi and carry the first batch of POW's to freedom. Did you know that 65-0238 was the LAST? On 29 March 73 it flew the last 27 POW's from Hanoi to Clark AB, PI.

Larry Sturgill sent in the photo below which he took of 65-0238 on the ramp in Hanoi as it was preparing to load and leave. He was on one of the C-130 crews that landed at Hanoi prior to the C-141's which flew the POW's out of Hanoi. The C-130's provided communications support and the crew members escorted the POW's from the release point on the tarmac to the waiting C-141's.

Larry flew as a C-141 loadmaster from 1969-71 (between stints on the C-124 and the C130).

Friday, July 14, 2006 1:36 pm

Nixon in China

The following news clipping showed up in an envelope a few days ago. Don't know who sent it, but it is from way back in March of 1972. I don't know what publication it is from, but it looks like it might be a local base paper, probably at Charleston. I don't know if 644 was one of the aircraft that was flown to Russia or just one that brought the crew home.

If you recognize any of these folks or have any details about the Russia trip, please let me know.

Monday, July 10, 2006 7:16 pm

New Video Posted

You might have thought I dropped off the face of the earth since it's been so long since I've managed to get anything posted here on C141Heaven. Sorry, but gotta pay the bills and that means work from time to time. I've been very busy with lots of things and finally got around to posting a video which I received just last week from the 445th PA office.

After some flailing with my video editing software I managed to extract the emotional speech given by the director of the National Museum of the AF, Major General Charles Metcalf just minutes after 177 made its final landing at the retirement ceremony on May 6th. He details the reason that 177 is the most famous and special C-141. It was a windy day and the audio is a bit marginal with the wind on the microphone but you can easily hear the speech without too much difficulty.



Click here to download the video. It's an MP4 file about 19mb in size, roughly 6 minutes long.

When I get more time I'll extract and post a few more tid-bits from the DVD's they sent me, including the final landing from a few different angles. All total there's about 6 hours of video, much of it the same scene from several vantage points. Some's pretty good, and some's not. I will try to pick the best for posting on the site.

Friday, June 2, 2006 8:25 am

Nice Story from an Army Officer

Jeff Brown, a former Army officer who was associated with the 62nd MAW at McChord has submitted a photo and story about his adventures.

Click here to read it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Article from Wright-Patterson about final flight

Dean Collingwood at WP sent me a copy. Click here to read it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More Starlifter Farewell shots

  1. Here's almost 200 shots I took of the Final Flight of 66-0177 on May 6th, 2006. You can see them by clicking here. I have not had time to add caption information yet. These photos are presented in the order taken.

  2. Here's a link to a few additional shots taken by Don Logan, a former POW who flew on one of the flights on the 5th of May. He promised to send more later. Click Here for Don's pictures.

  3. I received a CD from Major Theodore Theopolos at the Public Affairs office at Wright-Patterson with 74 shots of the POW flights and the final flight. You can see them by clicking here.

Sunday, May 14, 2006 7:53 am

A few New Tall Tales

C141Heaven's newest Tall Tail teller, David Millican, has submitted a few short stories for your reading enjoyment.

Click Here for the entire index of tall tales then scroll to the bottom to read "Why I Chose the C-141", "Alert Loadmaster" and "Customs? What's That?".

Saturday, May 13, 2006 6:50 pm

I've gotten carried away...

Another video: This one is very mellow, so have a scotch (or martini) in hand, watch the sunset and Travels
(YouTube)
view my second masterpiece here (about 7 mb, 5 minutes or so).

NOTE: For some reason, the last few seconds of the music track is chopped off on this video. I have no idea why but it must be a bug in the software as it plays fine in the edit mode but it just chops it off when the final output file is written. I'm looking for a solution/fix. The software was free so I can't complain too much.

Saturday, May 13, 2006 4:36 pm

Starlifter Wedding

The blessed event took place at the Startlifter Farewell event last week. Photos can be seen here.

Saturday, May 13, 2006 4:11 pm

Starlifter Farewell Hanger Party Pics

The hanger party was a huge event the evening before the final flight of 66-0177. I took a few photos (not nearly enough). If any of you who were there have any more (there were about 1200 people there, and at least 600 cameras going nearly full time, so I know there are more) please submit them for inclusion here on C141Heaven.

As you might expect, my photos are mostly of my wife and a few other friends we found wandering around in the hanger. Click here to see some of the photos of the hanger party.

Saturday, May 13, 2006 2:18 pm

Video Challenge

For all you video types out there I've got a little challenge. Towards the very end of the big hanger party last week I saw something on the big video screen and it inspired me to create one too.



After a lot of fiddling I finally made a short little video you can download here. use Right-Click / Save-As to download then you can view it over and over without having to download it again and again. Crank up your speakers and enjoy.

It's about 3 minutes long, (6 mb) , and honestly, it took me HOURS to create. It's got about 200 pictures in it (that was the time consuming part) and it's not a very polished effort (synching the musing and pictures is a challenge!) Perhaps someone who has the right tools and time can create a better one (should not be hard as I'm new at this video stuff) and submit it for all of us C-141 nuts to enjoy.

Friday, May 12, 2006 5:53 pm

First Batch of Starlifter Farewell Photos

The first batch of 218 photos of the activities related to the C141 Farewell event. These are of the POW flights conducted on Friday, May 5th, 2006. You can view them at this link. These are shown in the order taken.

If you have any photos you can share, please to me send them to me via email or if you have too many to send that way you can mail me a CD or upload them to C141Heaven via FTP.

Friday, May 12, 2006 8:25 am

Another Farewell Video

Danny McGahee was at the final landing on Saturday, May 6th and created a nice video of the final landing. It's got the "teaser" go around, the final landing, and taxi in, as well as the F-16 Missing Man fly by.

It's got some nice dramatic music added. You can save it to your local drive by using "Right-Click / Save-As".

Video #4: C-141 Starlifter: Farewell (14 mb) -- about 5 minutes viewing time

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 3:19 pm

C-141 Videos

Here are a few videos for you to download. The Lockheed one is about 7 minutes long and is basically the first half of the 2nd video, which was produced by the 445th in conjunction with a Dayton area TV station.

It took me a while to get these converted to a format that you could download and view. If you want you can download them to your local drive and watch them using any player than can show a WMV file. You can save these to your local drive by using "Right-Click / Save-As".

Video #1: C-141 Starlifter: A Tribute (30mb)

Video #2: The C-141 Story: WHIO-TV and 445th Airlift Wing (50mb)

Video #3:An AF Video about the retirement ceremony (3 mb)

Saturday, May 6 2006 (3:30pm EST)

It's All Over Now But the Crying

Today was the last flight of the C-141. C-141 fans by the hundreds were here at National Museum of the USAF here near Wright-Patterson and witnessed the final landing at about 9:30 this morning. The crew that put on the Startlifter Farewell events did a FANTASTIC JOB. Here's a shot of the final roll-out of 66-0177.

I've taken close to a thousand photos over the past couple of days, and will be posting a large number of them on the site in the next week or so. If you have more to send me please do so.

It's been a great run for the greatest airlifter ever and now it's over.

C141Heaven is here ... to keep the memory alive.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 4:25 am

Coffee Cup Info

A few weeks ago I purchased a coffee cup on eBay with the name "Gen Griffin" on it, and on the other side, a C-141 with propellers.

I asked via this blog if anyone knew anything about it. Sure enough, in less than a week I got this response :

I'm Dennis Korycinski, a 141 crew dog from the 60s/70s. Thanks for the great website you launched on the super Starlifter--it has been an enjoyable experience for me (and obviously many others) to follow the 141's life on your site.

My first assignment was Norton AFB with the 15th MAS in 1969. I recognized Brig General Lou Griffin's coffee mug on your 2006 Blog (Re--Coffee Cup: A Strange E-Bay Find). General Griffin was the 63 MAW Wing Commander from 1968-1970. He passed away in 1996.

The general was attached to the 15th MAS for flying purposes. His coffee mug hung on a rack in the 15th MAS coffee shack with everyone else's on the 2nd floor of Bldg 763 at Norton.

I think the "Old Shaky" C-124 troops had a hand in designing the mug (and the squadron patch). The squadron was at Donaldson AFB, SC in 1961/1962, participating in Operation Deep Freeze (support of the South Pole). Staging out of Christchurch, New Zealand, they air-dropped supplies and equipment to those poor souls in the frozen south.

Regarding the "propellers" shown on the mug:

Rumor was that the 124 heritage was not going to be forgotten just because the squadron got a new bird. Some enterprising individual had the props added on the 141 engines for the mugs.

The eagle/globe image you see on the mug was the one used for the squadrons' patch.

The patch was the one issued to crews when I was there (at Norton) and prominently included the "Deep Freeze 61-62" mission designation.

Monday, May 1, 2006 9:09 am

C-141 Book Review: Heavy Jets by Jim Miller

Jim Miller has released Heavy Jets, a fictional account of the early days of the C-141 and life in the system. He sent me a review copy which I read from cover to cover in one sitting. I rarely do that.

Remember that saying "If you remember the 60's, you weren't really there"? If you flew the line in the 60's and 70's you may not remember all that happened (at best, just one side of the story). Once the booze kills those brain cells they are usually gone forever unless regression therapy, which has been widely proven to be complete bunk, works for you.

Heavy Jets recounts a lot of stories that will surely resurrect some of those memories ... some good ... some not so good. If you didn't have the privelege of being one of the early C-141 crew cadre then you will read about things you will have a hard time believing ever happened. Be warned, however, that a lot of what is in Heavy Jets is probably what caused your first marriage to crash and burn, (and maybe the second if you were foolish enough to remarry and still be flying the MAC line). Don't let your wife read the book unless the statute of limitations has expired, but keep in mind, for some crimes, there is no statute of limitations. So, for all of us old "MAC Animals" let's all resolve to have one story and stick to it. If "she who must be obeyed" asks if these stories are true or involved you in any way, just say: "This is a work of fiction! I swear, nothing like that ever happened to me!" Once the PC police of the '80s and '90s took control of our lives it was all downhill from there. If flying the line "these days" is anything like it was in "those days", I'd sign up again in a heartbeat, but mercifully, for my liver and sanity, that can never happen.

Heavy Jets follows the air force career of a young man named Jonathan Blant from his first sighting of a jet high in the sky as a boy through his assignment to a special ops hostage rescue mission. Lots of things happen to and around Jonathan that will bring back the memories of flying the line to anyone who ever did. Along the way, Jonathan visits all the old MAC hangouts, starting in a bar Alaska on his "cherry ride", all around southeast Asia and countless other destinations that the C-141 flew to or from on a regular basis. You will surely recognize the cast of characters as your old best friends.

For those of you that missed the "good old days" described in Heavy Jets, all that can be said is: "These are your good old days. Enjoy them to the fullest. And take notes so you'll be able to remember them when you are old and gray."

Heavy Jets: Remember, it's a work of fiction, and nothing like it ever happened to you.

Available from iUniverse.com on April 15th for $15.95. By May 10th, it should be available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

Jim Miller's Book Link

Saturday, April 29, 2006 9:36 am

This Ain't No Earl Scheib Paint Job

Dean Collingwood from Wright-Patterson submitted a bunch of shots of 66-0177 getting a final paint job before the retirement ceremony planned for next Saturday (May 6th). Except perhaps to the POW's who first saw 177 at Gia Lam airport in Hanoi on Feb 12th, 1973, she's never looked better.

You can see the paint job in progress by clicking here.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 9:36 am

Big List of POW Flights

James Warren, the navigator on the "Homecoming One" (66-0177) flight out of Hanoi on Feb 12th, 1973, sent me a list of all the flights conducted by C-141's related to Operation Homecoming, both from Hanoi to Clark and from Clark to the US. It shows the tail numbers, dates, names of the ex-POW's on each flight, and the names of the medivac crews. Missing here are the names of the flight crews. If anyone has that information it would be great to add it to the list.

You can see complete list by clicking here.

If you have updated or additional information please send it to Mike Novack

Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:10 am

Just Cause Tall Tale

Phil Barbee submitted a story about Operation Just Cause. You can read it here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:01 pm

Been Busy

If you've been checking here recently for updates, you've noticed that I haven't gotten any news out on the Blog for a few weeks. I've been traveling on business and catching up on a few things. If you have submitted anything to me in the last week or two, be patient. It will getting on the site in the next week or so.

I'll be out of town next week for the Starlifter Farewell event at Wright-Patterson and will try to get some items posted as events unfold if I have access to a decent internet connection.

Mike Novack

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 11:40 am

Retirement Ceremony 'Coins'

A few weeks ago I posted a note about the planned coins that will be created for next week's retirement ceremony. They have been minted and are absolutely gorgeous. Arrangements will be for people of purchase the coins via the STARLIFTERFAREWELL.COM web site. I don't know when they will be available for general purchase or how much they will cost. As of today there is no information there about purchase of the coins, but there will be .... so you'll just have to keep checking back from time to time until they have gotten the details on their site.

Here are a few shots of the ones I got in the mail the other day. There are two coins that were designed.

This is what the front of both coins looks like:


This is the back of the first one.


And this is back of second one. Sorry about the focus on this one. I'm working on a better image.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:29 pm

66-0177:Request for help and information

I'm writing an article on 66-0177 for the American Aviation Historical Society Journal and am getting into a serious fact-finding mode right about now. There's lots of resources but I've found that the visitors to C141Heaven are a gold-mine of personal knowledge, recollections, details and facts that can't be matched in any research library. If you have any firsthand knowledge or recollections about this tail-number, going back to the day it rolled off the factory line at Lockheed, please share them with me for possible inclusion in the full story of this great aircraft.

Here's just some of the things I'm looking for:

  • Key Dates related to 66-0177.. e.g., date built, delivered, stretch mod dates, etc.

  • Basing History .. where was has been based starting from Day 1

  • Key Missions it participated in, (the most obvious being Operation Homecoming).

  • Crew Member names on that first Homecoming flight,

    including the medical personnel, (who so often are 'out of sight, out of mind'

    in the back of the plane.)

  • Anything you can think of related to 177

You can contact me via email with anything you might have to contribute.

Thanks.

Mike Novack, C141Heaven webmaster

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:38 am

Another Tall Tale

C141Heaven's newest Tall-Tale author, Kent Davis, has submitted another story which you can read here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:04 am

An Update on the Darwin Awards

Click here for more details.

Monday, April 10, 2006 12:32 pm

Coffee Cup: A Strange eBay find

Well, it holds coffee, that I can confirm. But what do you make of this?

I found it on eBay, and it doesn't quite add up. First, the front of the cup has a squadron patch from the 15th MAS, and a 'Deep Freeze 61-62' logo. The cup is all hand painted, and has "Gen Griffin" painted in gold at the bottom under the logo. Anyone know him?

I'm not a 'deep freeze' memorabilia collector, so what really attracted me to this cup was the C-141 painted on the other side of the cup. The first C-141 that ever made it to the ice was in 1965 as best as I have been able to determine ... what this has to do with the '61-62' Deep Freeze mission season is a mystery.

But even more strange is what appears to be "spinning propellers" in front of the engine nacelles.

Go figure! I suspect the artist who decorated the cup was perhaps working from a C-130 prototype cup and had no clue the C-141 had no props.

Monday, April 10, 2006 11:08 am

A New Tall-Tale

A death-bed confession about the Psychological Torture of an Air Force Academy Cadet by Kent Davis, a former C-141 navigator.

Please, no congressional investigations. The statute of limitations on this crime expired long ago.

Friday, April 7, 2006 10:10 am

The LAST flight of 67-0166

As noted about 10 days ago, 166 was scheduled to go from Wright-Patterson to Scott AFB today and it did, right on time. Larry Stultz was there to take photos of the final departure and submitted a bunch of shots of all the LAST RIGHTS for 166. I've also received photos of the arrival from several other folks. I've placed them on the 67-0166 page for your viewing pleasure (or pain, as the case may be).

If you have any others of the departure, in-flight tomfoolery, or the arrival please send them in and I'll get those posted as soon as they arrive in my email in-box. .

Here's the dates/times for the final local sorties for 177:

Monday, April 3, 2006 10:17 am

Final C-141 Flights about to commence

I got this word from Dean Collingwood at Wright-Patterson on April 1st, 2006.

66-0177 flew today (4/1/06) ... 2.5 hours Aero-Med local with no-write-ups.

67-0166 flew last operational mission on 3/29/06. 5.2 hours to Lackland AFB to pick up maintenance team working with the 433rd on C-5's.

66-0177 flies four more times in April till we take her down for a week and a half. We'll have her looking good for the POW flights and party on 5 May and the final flight on 6 May.

Look forward to seeing everyone who will be at the party!

Sunday, April 2, 2006 7:00 pm

Yet Another Mystery ... Solved!

Quite some time ago someone sent in a copy of a cartoon showing the "Real Flight Engineer", and subsequently another one of the "Real Loadmaster". There was no information about exactly where these originated until today, when I got an email from Keith Burton, the original artist who created the "Real Loadmaster".

This was subsequently cloned by unknown others into a wide variety of imitations. You can see them all at this link along with Keith's explanation of how it came to be.

Sunday, April 2, 2006 12:26 pm

Great Story!

I got an email from Steve Williams, of Bridport, Dorset, U.K. He's one of those 'aviation nuts' from Britain ... here's the note:

There is one little story I will pass on that you may find amusing - or incomprehensible. In the 1960s and 1970s, before computer games and mobile phones took over the world, many (but by no means all) kids in the UK would spend their weekends spotting, or noting down numbers of whatever took their interest. I don't know whether this happened in the States of if it was a peculiarly British eccentricity. Some stood around station platforms in anoraks noting down locomotive numbers, a few spotted buses, one person I knew even started spotting policemen by the numbers on their shoulders. I am proud to say that I was an aircraft spotter.

Living where I did, this meant trips to Heathrow & Gatwick Airports, and occasionally RAF Northolt, and in the summer, coach trips to airshows, including USAF events at Mildenhall, Bentwaters and Lakenheath. Anyway, that sets the scene.

I have no idea who started it, but a fellow spotter started writing '40612' on the walls of any airport lavatory he used. I have no idea why this particular C-141 serial was chosen but through the early 1970's the habit started to spread among other spotters, and 40612 became a ubiquitous sight in almost every toilet at every airfield I visited. I honestly can't remember if I ever added to this as I am not a habitual wall-dauber, but I was a teenage boy with a warped sense of humour, so who knows? It even made the national press - who was the mystery graffitist who was daubing this indecipherable number, not just in the gents loos, but the ladies too?

Then I suppose everyone grew up and by the time I found myself working at Heathrow in the mid 80's it had vanished. I still smile to remember it though, and maybe some other middle-aged Englishman looking at your site might be able to shed a bit more light on the subject.

Steve

Saturday, April 1, 2006 10:32 am

Heavy Jets Book Info

A few weeks ago there was a notice here in the C141Heaven BLOG about a new book to be published by Jim Miller. Jim's book about C-141 stories of the 70s and 80s will be available from iUniverse.com on April 15th for $15.95. By May 10th, it should be available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

Jim Miller's Book Link



I haven't seen it yet, but hope to do so when it is available.

Friday, March 31, 2006 9:19 am

A couple of week's worth of tasteless jokes

Click Here and start with #63 for the latest batch

Thursday, March 30, 2006 9:54 am

Update on status of 67-0166

I got this note today from Geno Carvotta, who works at Scott AFB:

I just wanted to let you know CINC MAC's aircraft, 67-0166, will be flown to Scott AFB on 7 April and will arrive here at 11:00. I am the Static Display Boss for this year's airshow at Scott on 12-13 Aug and I am planning on including 166 as an open display for the airshow if anyone wants to have a final look before it goes on permanent display in the airpark.

Thanks,

Geno Carvotta, MSgt
375th OSS First Sergeant
Superintendent, Current Operations
C-141B Flight Engineer
18th MAS, McGuire, 85'-94'

Anyone at Scott who will be around on the 7th PLEASE take lots of photos of the arrival if you can get near the flight line as it lands, and send them to me for posting here on C141Heaven.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 11:40 am

It's Lonely Out Here!!

I got two photos from Msgt Larry Stultz showing the flight-line at Wright-Patterson as of mid-February. You can see, the last two flying C-141's (66-0177 and 67-0166), along with a couple of C-5's.

Copyright:2006 Larry Stultz
Copyright:2006 Larry Stultz

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 8:19 am

Over 500 'People' photos

For about a year hundreds of folks have been sending me lots of photos of C-141 aircraft and all related matters. I've collected all the photos of people I can find into a gigantic set of web pages that you view at this link. Note that many of these are pretty high resolution (2 to 3mb in size). I have not reduced the size of posting here. If you have a slow web connection be patient while these large photos download (or press the +1 button for the next page if you are impatient.)

Some of these are USAF photos. I ran into a large cache of photos of the release of the Viet Nam POWs in 1973 on a DOD web site which I've never seen before.

Friday, March 24, 2006 9:09 am

Lockheed Long Endurance/Long Range Aircraft Study

Another eBay find: Very interesting overview of some brainstorming Lockheed did back in the early 1960's.

Click Here

>!---

Sunday, March 19, 2006 4:14 pm

More Great C-141 Models

Scott Doepker I work at and live near Wright-Patterson. I model airplanes as a hobby and could not resist modelling what I see every day. I scratch-built a C-141B/C kit using bass wood and made a couple of resin copies. I am sending some pictures of the models. Feel free to post them on your site if you like. Both aircraft are from the 445th AW here at Wright-Patt. You can probably see that one is 0177. I plan to make an A-model version of 0177 sometime in the near future.



I plan to be there for the last flight of 0177 in May. It is sad to think that the days of C-141s flying overhead around here are numbered. There are already three C-5s on base.

=-->

Saturday, March 18, 2006 3:22 pm

Mill Around Check List

Emmett Thompson saw my request for copies of crew checklists and dug this up from some stuff he managed not to lose over the years.

The only problem with it is that it has the striped border associated with "Emergency Procedures".

Milling Around was a "Normal Procedure", as I recall.

If you read this carefully you may have seen item # 10, "458 - Completed".

Being a conscientious MAC/AMC Crew Member you were most likely very familiar with what that is. In case you are not well versed in all the forms needed to maintain and fly the C-141, just click here to download a PDF version of this form.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Crew Chief's Checklist posted

Barry Geier sent me a Crew Chief's checklist he found in a box that he's been carting around for almost 40 years. I've got a few boxes like that too.

The checklist includes Refueling, Towing, Jacking, and Oxygen servicing procedures. For those of you still flying the C-141 (can't be very many of you) don't use these documents they are from 1967!!

Check out this antique checklist at this link.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It Just Gets Better and Better

As part of the retirement party plans, the organizers have arranged to produce a couple of C-141 related coins and a patch. You will find preview images below of what they are planning. As soon as the actual items are available I will try to get shots of them for posting here as well. These are REVOLUTIONARY SQUARE coins and will be about 1 3/4 inches on each side. The patch will be about 3 1/2 inches. Somebody's thinking way outside the box here.

Purchase arrangements will be announced soon .. at this point I have no info regarding cost or availability date of these items.

Here are the artists' rendering of what they are planning The 'square' coins are intended to represent a 463L pallet, which was not exactly square, of course. Great Idea!

There will be two coins, one for the 445th, and one for "all units".

This will be on the back of both of the coins.

The Patch

Saturday, March 11, 2006

eBay find: 70's era Pilots Checklist

Got this on eBay a week or two ago. Back in the day there were no word processors or laser printers. It's amazing how far things have come since then.

Check out the checklist at this link.

The checklist binder included the full normal and emergency procedures, plus some additional airdrop checklists and local departure/approach procedures, as well as a few hand-written notes. It's all here for your view pleasure.

If any of you other crew members (Navs, Engineers, Loadmasters, Crew Chiefs, etc) have copies of your checklists please submit them so we can post them here for all to enjoy.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Operation Homecoming Site

Here's a very nice web site that details some of what happened during Operation Homecoming.

Friday, March 10, 2006

C-141 Video

Gary Redden submitted a link to some C-141 related material on the Google Video site. Starlifter Video

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lunch In a C-141

Here's a news story from a publication called the "Friday Flyer" about Valentine's Day lunch in the back of a C-141 at the March AFB museum. When I flew them there were box lunches. This looks like quite a spread. Click here for the details.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 4:13 pm

C141Heaven Stats....growing!

I thought you might be interested in the following charts, which show a big spike in users accessing the site. Users accessing the site from everywhere.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 4:13 pm

Upcoming Novel Release

A few days ago a guy named Jim Miller made an entry in the Guestbook saying he was putting the final touches on a novel about the C-141 experience. Here's the info I got from him about the book. The details on how to acquire a copy are not available yet, but as soon as it is I will post a note here on the blog.

My book, Heavy Jets, is a fictionalized account of major C-141 adventures during the 70's and 80's. Here's the jacket blurb:

At the dawn of the jet age, C-141s, the first big jet cargo planes, unleashed a new breed of airlifters. Not exactly the image of All-American pilots, they roamed the earth in search of adventure and a good time. When the Air Force tried to force them into a recruiting poster mold, they fought back in a thousand ingenious ways.

Jim Miller

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 7:01 am

Updated photos of a couple of tail numbers

Erin Ross has sent me a few new photos of two tail numbers.

65-0248

66-0180

Both of these aircraft are presently at the Warner-Robins museum. 66-0180 has been there for some time as a static display and plans are to remove it (either scrap it or move to another location) to make room for 65-0248.

65-0248 was the last aircraft to pass through Warner-Robins for PDM, and had been flown from its final assigned base (March), to the Boneyard to be scrapped. Before the choppers got a chance to destroy it, it was given a second lease on life and made a second "final flight" back to Warner-Robins for permanent display.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Need Help Sleeping?

If you always wondered why the Loadmaster was so good at sleeping as soon as the wheels were up, you should know it had nothing to do with that bottle of Jack Daniels he bought at the duty-free in Guam.

The real reason was that he stayed in his room and was up all night reading the Loadmaster's Bible: The Dash-9.

I got a complete Dash-9 (about 3 pounds, 2 inches thick, double sided printing) from Ed Knox in the mail today. I've scanned the cover page for you. After I catch up on ALL the other hundreds of photos I still have to post I'll get around to finishing the rest of the Dash-9, maybe in 2008 sometime.

If any of you old Loads have a favorite page from the Dash-9 please let me know and I'll be sure to post it for your enjoyment. Personally, my favorite pages (in any of the AF pubs, not just the Dash-9) were always the "List of Effective Pages" ... better than a hot sex novel on a long flight any day! In fact, I read on the web somewhere that before he started writing military theme novels, Tom Clancy approached the AF and asked if he could write the "List of Effective Pages" for all AF publications. They turned him down since he had no military experience. The rest is history.

Just don't ask me to post any of the dirty pictures from the appendixes. Also the pages that explain about "snatch blocks" are off limits. You just never know when your grand-children will end up browsing the web and stumbling on to C141Heaven. The last thing you want to have do is explain THAT.

PS: If anybody has the Dash-9 in PDF format and can send me a copy that would save a lot of scanning!


Click for full-size image. It is about 1mb


While we are on the subject of Loadmasters I got a request from one today via email asking if anyone has a copy of a Form-F from the last cargo flight of a C-141. I'm not exactly sure when this may have occurred but if you happen to have been the Load on one of these last flights and managed to keep a copy of the Form-F it would be a great item to post here on C-141 Heaven. If you have any such items (flight-plan, form-f, etc.) from any recent flights that you might be involved with PLEASE make a Xerox and mail or email it to me for posting here. These sorts of things are history that should be shared with us all.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

C-141 FAREWELL PARTY STATUS

I got word via email this morning from the planners of the C-141 FAREWELL party scheduled for May 5 and 6 that they now have over 1000 registered names of folks planning to attend. They are expecting a large number of DV/VIP types to show up as well who can't commit until closer to the event. Due to space limitations they are going to be forced to cut off registration for the event by the end of this week (12th of March) so if you are considering attending TODAY is the time to take action. STARLIFTERFAREWELL.COM

Thursday, March 2, 2006 2:42 pm

B-52 Model Crashes

Check out this link for video of a fantastic B-52 R/C model's maiden flight, and subsequent crash. Thanks to Ed Knox for submitting the link.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 2:26 pm

How 60177 came to be the "Hanoi Taxi"

I got a forwarded copy of an email regarding the pending retirement of the Hanoi Taxi earlier today. There was a message included in the forwarded text which read:

Dear Folks,

I was the airlift manager for "Operation Homecoming". General Kearney (the Commander of the 63rd Military Airlift Wing at Norton AFB, CA and my old boss) requested that one of his airplanes be the first to land in Hanoi.

I told him that his request would be honored but there were a couple of strings attached. First it had to be a crew from the 14th Squadron; my first assignment in the C-141. Second, it had to be aircraft 60-177 as that was the airplane that I took my first line check that qualified me as an Aircraft Commander.

He agreed and the rest is history.

Don G.

UPDATE (14/Jan/2016): In 2016 I posted the above note to the Facebook C141 group. Here's the comment I received a note from Henry Harlow, who was been very active in the final days of the 60177 at Wright Patterson, and in preserving the history of the aircraft. Also, the consensus of a few sources is that "Don G." was a guy named "Don Gilbert".

66-0177 was not scheduled to be the first C-141 into Hanoi. It was to be the second but due to some problems with the approach people there, the first aircraft ended up going around and 177 pushed on in despite being given "less than accurate" instruction from the Hanoi personnel. Somebody has to be first, but to have been any of the aircraft and crews for Homecoming would have to be considered as honored. -- Henry Harlow

The "Don G." who wrote that message was Don Gilbert, Col., USAF, Ret., whose last-known residence (according to the Pelicans 50th Reunion brochure from 1990) was in Alexandria, VA (he must have ended up at the Pentagon). He was an aircraft commander in the 14th MAS at Norton in early 1972.

He moved to the 63rd MAW wing under Col. Kearney, who was the 63rd wing commander.

When Don moved up to 22nd Air Force Ops at Travis later that year he became the overall planner for Operation Homecoming in early 1973, working once again with now-General Kearney, who was the Chief of Staff at HQ MAC at Scott AFB.

As he wrote, Kearney wanted a Norton airplane to be the first into Hanoi and Don wanted wanted a crew from his old 14th MAS plus the aircraft in which he took his initial A/C line check, and the rest is history.

Operation Homecoming was a 14th MAS operation from the get-go at HQ MAC and 22nd A.F. level, only because former Pelicans were doing all the planning and wanted all the glory, but that didn't mean the rest of MAC didn't participate. -- Pat Gilmore

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:19 am

Very Nice C-141C Scale Model

A week or so ago Rob Finch sent me some photos of a C-141 scale model he built. You can see it at this link.

Monday, February 27, 2006 12:11 pm

Very Strange eBay Find

I have an eBay alert set up that tells me about any C-141 related items that show up for sale there. Typically the stuff that appears includes models, some old parts that folks have salvaged, and some copies of user manuals and videos. A jerk from Canada downloaded all the manuals and pubs I have on this site (including the exact descriptions and comments) and tries to sell them for about $60 or so. If you are looking for this stuff, get it free here, eh? The idea of paying an idiot from the great white north for it galls me a bit.

Last week one of the strangest eBay finds I've ever seen showed up. During the course of marketing the C-141 Lockheed created a number of little trinkets and 'giveaways', presumably to support the sales effort to the AF and potential commercial customers that never materialized. This included models, lighters, and so on.

I'm sure that everybody they gave one of these things to pushed hard to get the C-141 approved. Tit for Tat. It's the American way.

Here's the thing I'm talking about:



This is some sort of C-141 Snack Tray (smoked glass, about 10"x10")

It's got the sun, the moon, stars, some reference to E=MC2 that I don't get, maybe even a cartoon related to Einstein. Here are some close up shots of each of the 4 corners of the plate.






I bought it, of course. If you want to come to my house and eat chips and bean dip from my Lockheed C-141 tray, please let me know.

If anyone knows the story behind this masterpiece please let me know. If you have examples of other such giveaways, please pass them along so we can all share.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 5:54 am

C-17 Future?

An article in 'Defense Industry Daily' suggests that the 'powers that be' are reconsidering the decision to cap production of the C-17 at only 180 airframes. Mostly this is the dream of lobbyists and congressional representatives for the 42 states involved in production of the C-141 replacement.

There was a comment in the article that made me do a double take. It read "many of the C-17s are facing longer and harder usage than anticipated, and will wear out early as the C-141 Starlifters before them did." Huh? If the C-17 is still flying 30 years from now, I'll give you a dollar.

Here's the link to the full story.

Monday, February 20, 2006 6:17 am

Mechanical Wizards

Mike Masterson sent a copy of his old business card....

He had the business card made up when he was in charge of Team 1 in the early 90's. With everything going on and everyone busting their ass, it never seemed to satisfy the upper echelon so the card was something of a spoof :-) They handed them out to a world wide audience, everyone took it in stride. He reported that they all had a nice laugh.

Monday, February 20, 2006 6:06 am

Photos of damage to 64-0614

Robert Bratton sent in some USAF photos of the damage 64-0614 suffered after an engine failure in 1977 at Richmond RAAFB Australia. Check the 64-0614 page for the new pictures.

Friday, February 17, 2006 11:25 am

Lockheed "C-141 Logistics Transport"

Another Charles 'Snuffy' Grimes document. This one is a report released by Lockheed on April 5th, 1961, about the time the AF released its requirements document for the C-141. It provides a general overview of the concept Lockheed had in mind for the C-141 and some interesting photos and charts. You can view it at this link.

Friday, February 17, 2006 9:10 am

Airborne Radar for Pilots and Engineers

Charles 'Snuffy' Grimes sent in a few items which I've managed to get scanned and will be posting to the site over the next few days. The first one available is an early 1970's pamphlet called Airborne Radar for Pilots and Engineers. You can view it at this link. For you youngsters it will be a treat to read about the radar we used to use in the 'old days'. Not digital, not color, just your basic radar circa late 60's/early 70's.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 9:24 am

Early Cockpit Mockup Photos

Somebody sent me an old Lockheed document (produced in early 1961) that had a set of photos of the various areas of the cockpit as Lockheed's designers envisioned it. Some were pretty close to the final product, and some were not.

Here's a shot of the original concept for the navigator's workstation. Note the galley to the left. I guess they figured the Nav would have time to make and serve coffee between celestial fixes.

It looks like an old SDW4D (Steel Desk With Four Drawers) served as the foundation for the desktop.

Here's another one of the engineer's panel.

It looks like the only portion of the engineer's panel that survived is the vertical tape engine instruments. It's not clear from the photo what those long projections in front of the engines represented.

Sunday, February 12, 2006 11:03 am

Important Date Today

Today is the 33rd anniversary of the first POW flight out of Hanoi. Here's a short story from Parade Magazine on 2/12/2006.

Here's the link to the web site mentioned in the article: OpenDoorsBook.com

Friday, February 10, 2006 7:19 am

C-17's Based at Hickam

Nice Duty! Hickam was always one of my favorite RON spots and Kauai is still my all time favorite vacation spot. Now they have started to base C-17's full time at Hickam.

I imagine you have to know the right people to get one of these assignments. Read the story at this link..

Wednesday, February 8, 2006 5:49 pm

Totally Insensitive Man-Humor Jokes Index

This has nothing to do with the C-141. I've started an index of stupid/bad/nasty/off-color jokes. If you are easily offended by this sort of thing, don't even think about clicking here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006 2:00 pm

Tall Tale About Wake Island

Lloyd Tincher sent me a copy of an article written by Bill Markley about Wake Island which was originally published in the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum newsletter about 2 years ago. You can read it at this link.

If you haven't read the other T-Tail Tall-Tales here's a link to the complete index. Newer stories are at the bottom of the list.

Saturday, February 4, 2006 3:48 pm

Guest Book Revisions

For those of you who've been monitoring the guestbook you may have seen a big pile of garbage posts in there every so often. I routinely monitor these posts and purge them at least 2 times per day. Still, it is irritating to have to read them and delete them. A few days ago I asked the readers of C141Heaven if anyone knew how to stop this sort of activity and I am hopeful we finally have a good solution.

Thanks to Mike Masterson and his computer genius son Kevin, the guest book now features a 'human verification' process that forces a poster to enter some letters and numbers that are displayed on the page in graphical format that the spammer's 'web bots' can't read. If this works as expected, most of the garbage posts will cease, and the spammers can go to web hell where they deserve to be, instead of bothering us good folks here in C141Heaven.

Thanks Kevin and Mike for all your help on this. It will be a GREAT addition to (or subtraction from) the site to get rid of all these stupid spammer postings.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 6:18 am

StarLifter Farewell Update

If you've been reading this blog page on a regular basis you are probably aware that there's going to be a huge party at Wright-Patterson AFB on May 6th to celebrate the incredible contribution the C-141 has made to aviation history and the world in general. Lucia Greer is involved in coordinating the event and has passed on a few numbers regarding the current attendance figures and projections:

As of Feb 1st:

  • Over 400 people have registered via the online registration process and an earlier registration cycle that was conducted for 445th (Wright-Patterson) personnel just before the new year started.

  • About 300 VietNam POW's and their family members are expected to be there.

    There will also be members of the SON TAY Raiders present.

  • McGuire is expected to send a contingent of about 100 personnel, perhaps on a C-17 training flight.

  • Charleston is expecting to send about 50, possibly via charter bus.

This totals over 850 so far. Plans are afoot to get some folks from Lockheed (Warner-Robins) and March AFB there as well, but these numbers are not available yet.

There's still time to sign up if you haven't done so. Don't miss the opportunity to be part of the final send off for the greatest airlifter that ever left the ground, and will sadly make its final landing on May 5, 2006. It will never happen again.

You can register and get more information at THE STARLIFTER FAREWELL web site.


Web Diversions:

While researching web links for the SON TAY Raiders info, I ran across two very interesting ones.

Read "Groupthink, Politics, and the Decision to Attempt the Son Tay Rescue" by Col MARK AMIDON (USAF) for a detailed analysis of what happened in the planning of this rescue attempt, and the consequences of lack of HUMINT. This is from the US Army War College web site.

Here's another link to more analysis: "The Son Tay Raid: A Study In Presidential Policy" by Major C141heaven.info MITCHELL, (USMC). This info is from an Ohio State University web site devoted to history.

Saturday, January 28, 2006 7:10 am

BeerLifter

Don Connor sent me a photo he found on the internet somewhere. For all we know this fine specimen may have been made from aluminum salvaged from actual C-141's.

Here's the photo:

Copyright: Mike Matthews

Note: Mike's original photo was tweaked with Photoshop to remove a distracting background.

I did a little Googling and managed to find the creator of the model and sent an email to him to ask for permission to show the photo. He's a flight instructor in the Las Vegas area, and here's his story about how the BeerLifter came to be:

I received your email this morning I would be proud to have my Starlifter on your site. It is a funny story. A year ago at a flight school on the coast of SC I built this model for my ground instructor, Monty Pickett, as a Christmas gift from the whole class.

He is retired Air Force and has thousands of hours in the C-141 so I thought it appropriate to spend 3 weeks constructing it out of 27 Rock Green Light cans, 1 coat hanger, some rivets and Gorilla glue (bad decision by the way, super glue would have been golden). After all he spent a lot more than 3 weeks on our education. At any rate it is still hanging in his living room to this day. We have some other creations that are kinda interesting so maybe I will zap you a pic or two.

Mike Matthews

The only thing that was not clear from his note is the amount of time it took to DRINK the 27 beers. If he'd been part of a C-141 crew, this would have been done in one sitting. To be fair, he does say it took 3 weeks to BUILD it, not that it took three weeks to drink it. (But he's still a young man, so we'll just have to cut him some slack).

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 1:46 pm

Nemo the Dog

Here's a link to a page about Nemo the USAF Sentry dog. Nemo was the first dog to do combat service in Viet Nam, and was awarded the Purple Heart and a unit citation. He was brought home on a C-141 after suffering injuries in combat. Thanks to Walt Chamberlain for the info about Nemo. Walt was a member of the crew that brought Nemo home to the US.

The page is drawn from the Tan Son Nhut Association web site.

Here's another link to more info about Nemo. Nemo's Story

And another. Nemo Memorial Page

December, 1971: Prisoners from China flown home on C-141

Click this link to read a newspaper story about the return on a C-141 of two American citizens who were held captive in China for many years.

Walt Chamberlain was on the crew of the aircraft that brought these folks from Clark. and sent in a copy of the newspaper article.

First 63rd MAW Air Evac Mission (date unknown)

Walt Chamberlain is digging through his C-141 clippings, and he's on a roll!

Here's a scan of a story from the Norton base newspaper (date unknown) recapping the first air-evac mission flown by members of the 63rd MAW back in the Viet Nam war days.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 8:17 am

S.O.R. 182

After a long wait, I have finally obtained a copy of the original Air Force document that spelled out the requirements for what eventually became the C-141. This was obtained through Mark Morgan at the AMC History office.

The copy I got was a reasonably decent photocopy of the 46 year old document, and I was able to scan it and run through an OCR program. The results turned out great and can be seen at this link.

Friday, January 20, 2006 8:05 am

66-7950

In 2003 seven US Army troops were captured during the initial stages of the Iraq war. Earlier a photo had been submitted of six of them standing in front of the oxygen service panel following their release and return to freedom. We have finally linked that photo to a tail number, 66-7950, which, sadly, is no longer flying, except here in C141Heaven.

Friday, January 20, 2006 6:57 am

64-0620

A little bit more info on 64-0620 has been added to its photo page , courtesy of its last Crew Chief, Al Bortz.

Friday, January 20, 2006 6:57 am

Supersonic C-141

A couple of photos of 65-9402 have surfaced. This was the only line C-141 to ever have gone supersonic as far as we know.

(It is possible that a supersonic test may have been performed during the initial flight testing period but I am not aware of such a test at the current time.)

Wed, Jan 18, 2006 15:22

SOR 182

After some long waiting I managed to make a few contacts at the AMC History office and they located a copy of the original Air Force Request for Proposals (which they called SOR 182) for the C-141 issued way back in 1960.

A copy is being sent to me so I can get it posted here on C141Heaven. It will probably be a week or so before I get it and then a couple of days to scan and post to the site, depending on how big it is.

Thanks to Col. Steven Doss and Mark Morgan, (both at Scott AFB) for helping locate this document. (And thanks to all the packrats at the history office for never throwing anything out.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Future of Military Airlift?

An interesting article appeared in today's LA Times about where military airlift might be headed. Click here to read it.

Monday, January 16, 2006 2:49 pm

Fifteen reasons why airplanes are easier to live with than women

  1. Airplanes usually kill you quickly - a woman takes her time.
  2. Airplanes can be turned on by a flick of a switch.
  3. Airplanes don't get mad if you do a "touch and go."
  4. Airplanes don't object to a preflight inspection.
  5. Airplanes come with manuals to explain their operation.
  6. Airplanes have strict weight and balance limitations.
  7. Airplanes can be flown any time of the month.
  8. Airplanes have equally good looking sisters, but no mothers.
  9. Airplanes don't care about how many other airplanes you've flown before.
  10. Airplanes and pilots both arrive at the same time.
  11. Airplanes don't mind if you look at other airplanes.
  12. Airplanes don't mind if you buy airplane magazines.
  13. Airplanes expect to be tied down.
  14. Airplanes don't comment on your piloting skills.
  15. Airplanes don't whine unless something is really wrong.
    (However, when airplanes go quiet, just like women,it's usually not good)

Saturday, January 14, 2006 7:16 am

Another Mystery Solved

A few days ago I posed a question about what the 'tail can' was hanging off the back of 61-2777. Answers have arrived.

See the 61-2777 page for details.

Friday, January 13, 2006 9:59 am

More Photos of 177

Stefanie Hauck, who flies out of Wright-Patterson, sent in a few photos of the last overseas flight of 177 (from last July). These can be seen on the 60177 page. Scroll towards the bottom of the page for her photos.

I've also added some Air Force photos of the POW return flights I have collected over the past few months. These include shots of the US POW's making their way to the aircraft from the Hanoi Hilton, shots inside the aircraft on the flight out of Viet Nam, and a number of arrival shots at Clark, Hawaii, and Travis (and possibly other locations back in the US).

Thu, Jan 12, 2006 17:09

What was In there?

Does anybody have any idea what was in that silly looking appendage stuck on the end of 61-2777?


This photo was submitted by Bas Hart from the Netherlands. He was visiting DM in 1996, snapped this photo, and has been wondering about ever since. I have to admit, I've seen the stupid thing in a few photos myself and always wondered about it too.

It does not seem very aerodynamic and looks like it was vented or screened in some way. If you know, or care to submit a guess (sorry, no prizes) please email me at c141heaven@gmail.com if you have a clue what it was for.

Thu, Jan 12, 2006 16:14

Air Force One Tall Tale

When someone submits a T-Tail Tall Tale I will usually publish it here. The only rules are that it has to sound true (whether it actually is or not), and that we won't trash anybody's reputation, unless there's a good reason. Example: Osama Bin Laden is fair game for anything you care to say about him, but so far nobody has sent a C-141 related Osama story for posting. Another example of 'fair game' would be a nasty story about any flight-examiner written by any crew-member busted by that flight examiner. (Just kidding, but it does seem like justice in a way, doesn't it?)

When the story is accompanied by photos backing up the tall tale... well ... it a sure thing it will get put on C141Heaven somewhere.

There's a new short story about McChord, fuel, and Air Force One submitted by Don Conner, with a nice photo to back it up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 8:38 am

Getting to the End

As recently as last week I was told by my contacts at Wright-Patterson that the remaining two operational C-141's (not including 60177) were to be shipped off to DM this month. 64-0620 was headed out to DM on the Thursday, January 12th and 67-0166 about a week later.

The bad news is, 6400620 is still scheduled to arrive tomorrow at around noon.

The good news is that 67-0166 will be held at Wright-Patterson for another month or so while the powers that be work out the details of its final disposition. At this point the smart money is on it going to Scott. 67-0166 was the MAC/AMC commander's aircraft. It had about half the hours that all the others did and was in relatively good shape all things considered. It only makes sense to put in on display at Scott.

Sunday, January 8, 2006 8:52 am

Photos of 66-7944 Posted

We got a pile of photos of this tail number over the holidays from Darrell Stancliff. You can see them at this link.

Also included are some shots of this aircraft during its participation in the return of the American POWS from Hanoi, and a huge number of photos showing the arrival of the astronauts remains at Dover AFB following the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

Sunday, January 8, 2006 6:48 am

65-0277 at McChord Museum

There may be no finer restoration job than this one. We got some photos from C141heaven.info Funk of the aircraft at the McChord AFB Museum ... Click Here to see them.

Sunday, January 8, 2006 6:48 am

40637 Hits DM

Just after the year turned another notch, 64-0637 headed on its last flight from Wright-Patterson to Altus to Davis-Monthan. Michael Kalbfleisch was a member of the crew and has submitted some photos which can be seen on the 40637 page. Now the count is 3 remaining.

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