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David L Hawk
As the last flight of C-141s are scheduled for next
month I thought I pass
along a little personal story that includes C-141
It was 1983 and Norton AFB was working on breaking the consecutive on time departure record. In MAC, then, promotions were a direct result of on-time departures. If I remember correctly we were very close. So for every departure was "extra" pressure for the crew.
We were at Anderson AFB, Guam. I was an FEFE in the 53rd MAS. Early morning departure to Clark AB, Passengers on board ready to run checklist.
Loadmaster: "Pilot - Load"
Aircraft Commander: "Go Ahead Load"
Loadmaster:" Sir - did you file the flight plan with hazardous cargo?"
Aircraft Commander: "No - what's up?"
Loadmaster: "Sir, we have hazardous cargo on this pallet here"
Now that news was not good. Of course that meant the AC would need to go back to Base Ops to re-file and add the Hazardous cargo to the flight plan. As a result, we would go into delay.
Aircraft Commander:- "Command post - six zero one five zero (really don't remember the tail#)
Command Post - "Go Ahead"
Aircraft Commander: "Sir, Air Freight has placed hazardous cargo on one of the pallets, do you have any information on this?"
Command Post - "negative"
Aircraft Commander: "Well, we have it on a pallet and this is going to cause a delay, one which you guys are going to take due to the circumstances."
At that point we got all the help we needed, along with the air freight commander and base ops commander. They arrived immediately after we got the Pax into the bus.
When these two officers arrived at the aircraft the AC and I went downstairs to inspect the offending cargo with the loadmaster, the loadmaster pointed to the pallet and stated "see - citric acid".
We made the departure time.
Sure - Now you laugh.