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super heavy cub

couleeone

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I feel so privileged to be able to experience this!


What a day! Arrived at McChord AFB parked our cars and climbed on a bus that took us to the tarmac. Boarded the C-17 along with about 30 other reporters and cameramen. We all sat in jump seats along one fuselage bulkhead and put our seatbelts. The first impression that we were in whale's belly, a huge oval cavern with skillions of cables, wiring and who knows what all. Across from us on the other side of the fuselage were a group of the Air Force Task Force Paratroopers buckled in those jump seats.

The takeoff was like drag car accelerating, everybody is leaning about 45 degrees to the rear as we roll up and climb. I am smiling from ear to ear but some of the other reporters are looking a little green which made me smile even a little more. We were part of a flight of three and flew in close in tandem formation. We could not see outside what's so ever so could not tell what was happening in the different maneuvers, turns, climbs and steep glides only feel the sensations. We they finally opened the big rear doors to drop chute the cargo we could see we were at a low altitude and see the other C-17s behind us lined up. There was a low cloud cover so the paratroopers never got to jump.

After about a hour of flying around the major came down from the cockpit and asked who wanted to ride in the cockpit, I was unbuckled and moving before he even finished speaking.The cockpit is another deck up and pretty high from the ground for perspective. I spent a half an hour in the cockpit in a jump seat behind the co-pilot and watched the pilots do the maneuvers and the landing. I was able to video the landing and it was awesome. The you-tube link below is that video! So many switches and check lists! The gross weight was 350,000 pounds, cruise is 350kts, landing speed is 100kts, stall speed is 90kts and max crosswinds 35kts. For such a huge aircraft and such a heavy, it actually is very maneuverable and can perform short field takeoffs and landings.... not unlike a cub! I was able to sit in the pilot's seat for awhile and hold the stick and rudders visualizing flying it. With the exception of so many switches, dials, throttles, scopes and throttles (see pics) the cub flying skills would fit right in. I would have sold my first born to have taken off and landed one trip around the pattern!! It certainly was a chance in a life time to sit in the cockpit of a C-17, a thrilling and exhilarating experience! Previously, I had always thought being a fighter pilot was the ultimate but after riding in a C-17 you would have a hard time to get me to give up that ride!!! It is far more than I ever expected yet still flown by stick and rudder skills!!!

Another C17 was performing maneuvers by doing tight close to 90 degree turns and very slow flights over the runway. The Thunderbirds took off and started practicing their routine when we were still on the tarmac awing us with there performance up very close!

What else can I say, what a day! another coup to add to my journey in life! I sure want to thank my good friend "Radio" Bob, a local radio station manager for arranging the "media" ride!

Click on for pictures


http://picasaweb.google.com/couleeone/C17Ride/photo#s5224758577620428690



Click on this youtube link for the C-17 landing video!

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q57xIbB4kKo[/ame]




Geo Hoover
N787AK
sport cub #6
based at KTIW
[email protected]





 

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