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digrar
01-07-2007, 10:41 AM
Here's a good story from the time of the fall of Saigon in 1975 and one of the aircraft that figured prominently.

There is no link, I saw it on another site and he had got it in a email.


"The C-130A Hercules, tail # 56-0518, was the 126th built by Lockheed Aircraft corp. of Marietta, Georgia.
It was accepted into the Air Force inventory on 23 August 1957.


It was assigned to the 314th Troop Carrier Wing at Sewart AFB, Tennessee, from 1964 to 1972.
On 2 November 1972, it was given to the South Vietnamese Air Force as part of the Military Assistance Program.
A few years later, the aircraft would be involved in a tremendously historic flight.


On 29 April 1975, this Herk was the last out of Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. With over 100 aircraft destroyed
on the flight line at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, some of them still burning, it was the last flyable C-130 remaining.
In a very panicked state, hundreds of people were rushing to get aboard, as the aircraft represented a final ticket to freedom.


People hurriedly crowded into the Herk, packing in tighter and tighter. Eventually, the loadmaster informed the pilot, Major Phuong,
a South Vietnamese instructor pilot, that he could not get the rear ramp closed due to the number of people standing on it.
In a moment of inspiration, Major Phuong slowly taxied forward, then hit the brakes.
The loadmaster called forward again stating he had successfully got the doors closed.


In all, 452 people were on board, including a staggering 32 in the cockpit alone. Using a conservative estimate of 100 pounds per person,
it translated into an overload of at least 10,000 pounds.
Consequently, the Herk used every bit of the runway and overrun before it was able to get airborne.


The target was Thailand, which should have been 1:20 in flight time, but after an hour and a half, the aircraft was over the Gulf of Slam,
and they were clearly lost. Finally, a map was located, they identified some terrain features, and they were able to navigate.
They landed at Utapao, Thailand after a three and a half hour flight.


Ground personnel were shocked at what "fell out" as they opened the doors. It was clear that a longer flight would almost certainly
have resulted in a loss of life. In the end, however, all 452 people made it to freedom aboard this historic C-130.


Upon landing, the aircraft was reclaimed by the United States Air Force and was assigned to two different Air National Guard units
for the next 14 years. On 28 June 1989, it made its final flight to Little Rock Air Force Base, current home of the 314th Airlift Wing
and was placed on static display."

dj_1911
01-07-2007, 05:38 PM
Great story. Thanks!

vryhpyammoadded
01-08-2007, 03:41 PM
In a moment of inspiration, Major Phuong slowly taxied forward, then hit the brakes.

Bravo! Oh that's classic. People must have been stacked up like cordwood. I bet you it was one terrible, tiring fuss flying and landing that bird. Way to go Lockheed and Major Phuong! woot

Creeper
01-09-2007, 02:24 AM
The men and women have done and will continue to do many 'amazing feats' of engineering marvels.
There are a few more instances as the one given above-not just with a -130.
Killer story.

boone
01-11-2007, 03:10 AM
I used to work with an Iranian guy named Barry. He told me that during the Iran-Iraq war they would routinely load about 150-200 fully loaded Iranian troops into Hercs and fly them to the front.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but I don't doubt the Herc.

PrinzEugen
01-11-2007, 07:51 AM
Good read, thanks. Here's a link to the original(?) site with a pic of the plane, http://members.aol.com/mkonvalin/fave/herk.htm.

AN_TPS_63A
01-11-2007, 11:50 AM
Here's a good story from the time of the fall of Saigon in 1975 and one of the aircraft that figured prominently.

There is no link, I saw it on another site and he had got it in a email.

Thanks for this story dude!

Mastermind
01-12-2007, 04:00 PM
I bet they hosed that puppy out for about three days...used lots of bleach and handy wipes, too. My track (M-113) carried ten South Vietnamese Nat guard for twenty miles cross country and three of 'em crapped and several others (I could not count) pissed....one, it looked like, threw up what looked like a hair ball from a cat....MM