, C-141 Tail Number: 66-0198 C141HEAVEN - All there is to know, and lots more, about the Lockheed C141 Starlifter!

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C-141 Tail Number:66-0198

Copyright © - Werner Fishdick

I found these pictures on a Japanese web site.. They were taken at an airshow in Japan. The date and photographer are unknown.

Last Flight

Released: 22 Oct 1999
by Tech. Sgt. Dave Hembroff
97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. (AFPN) -~ Forty thousand hours in flight is like spending more than four and a half years continuously aloft. Many fliers never reach half that number; few crewmembers today would even dream of it. But 66-0198 is no ordinary "crew-dog." The C-141B Starlifter was retired from active service Oct 18, [1999].

Tail number 66-0198 entered service during the Johnson administration, on June 13, 1967. The plane was first based at Norton Air Force Base, Calif., where it flew Pacific Rim missions and amassed nearly 35,000 flying hours over 25 years.

The aircraft saw the Air Force withdraw from Vietnam, repatriated prisoners of war, and participated in hundreds of exercises. The Air Force stretched 66-0198 in 1981 to accommodate more cargo and it also underwent modification to permit aerial refueling. She was in the sky over Grenada and Panama during those conflicts and flew more than 100 sorties in Operations Desert Shield and Storm.

When Norton closed in 1992 66-0198 was transferred to McChord AFB, Wash., where it flew Northern Pacific missions as well as supporting Air Force operations like those in Bosnia and the former Soviet Union. It flew humanitarian missions for Operations Provide Promise and Provide Hope, as well as resupplying American forces in Desert Scorpion I, II, and III With the activation of C-17 operations at McChord, 66-0198 received orders to its final active post here in December 1998.

"An aircraft's fini-flight is always a sad event," remarked Master Sgt. Alfred Taus Jr., primary flight engineer on 66-0198's flight to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz,, for storage. "But the retirement of the C-141 represents the end of an era."

"It's like taking a member of the family to a rest home," said Col. James Richards, vice commander, 97 th Air Mobility Wing and navigator for the trip. "It's good to know that 198 will still be silently serving, however." The aircraft will be preserved at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan, and replacement parts for C-141's flying into the next millennium may well come from 198.

Senior Master Sgt. Ken Gould and Chief Master Sgt, Fred Volkman readied 660198 with just enough equipment to get it to Davis-Monthan, and supervised the removal of all non-essential survival equipment.

"This airplane is in great shape - it's just flown too many hours," Volkman said.

Lt Col. Bruce Card, 57 th Airlift Squadron commander, flew the nearly two-hour leg from Altus AFB, Okla., to Davis-Monthan.

He taxied 66-0198 to the AMARG entry area and waited as the motorized "pearly gates" slid aside before pulling the aircraft inside.

"You know that the wings will clear the gates, but it's a kind of ceremony to wait for them to swing wide. The airplane deserves that honor at least."

Tail 66-0198 is the 77 th C-141 to be retired at Davis-Monthan, and one of several that have come from Altus in the last year and a half

"The 141 has always been a symbol of freedom for me," Richards remarked. "It is like a little piece of America wherever it goes. My goal when I joined the Air Force was to be a C-141 crew member, and it is one of my proudest achievements. Each one of these planes will be remembered for its service to the United States."

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