We have certainly seen around the world many Lockheed C-130 Aircraft, which have had problems over the last five years. Many of these aircraft have in excess of 100,000 total time airframe hours on them. The British lost on in Iraq, one crashed in Germany. Several have been lost fighting fires. The USMC lost one and the USAF lost one. Many of the older A, B and C models have been committed to moth balls, but many are still being flown as we need them, they are superb work horses and capable of unbelievable feats. The newest versions of the C-130 are hardly the same aircraft with many new features, engines, airframe enhancements fan blade style props and a completely redesigned wing; thanks to NASA and Lockheed research and development. Luckily my brother is a USMC pilot in command on a C-130 and he is able to fly the newer versions.
It is the older aircraft that are the problem. After reviewing the NTSB data on Fire Aircraft, I am concerned as many with the older aircraft fighting fires with these birds and the brave men who love to fly them for actually very little money. Here is some interesting information on this matter, which tells about plane crashes. If you will remember the Forestry C-130 plane crashes, those were older C-130s and they had been modified. Here is the C-130 NTSB report:
Here is the information about the C-130 that went down.
It happened once before in 1994
and the NTSB knows there can be a problem this aircraft had over 20,000 flight hours total time on it and Borate which use to be used before phoschek and now the newest firefighting chemicals are very corrosive. In 2000 it happened again in France.
In 1984 there was another similar crash;
Then again in 1985.
I felt this was of concern and visited the GreyBull, WY Airport personally;
These older C-130s and the older fire fighting aircraft have super high time airframe hours on them and recently it was discovered that the wing spar boxes on these aircraft with high time airframe hours were the weak component bringing them down. The British C-130 was claimed to have been insurgents although no one knows for sure. The issue now is when can we retire all these older C-130s and replace them with the newer redesigned versions with all the state of the art components developed by NASA and Lockheed? The answer is probably not this year or the next as we are cutting back expenditures in military budgets presently. How do you feel about our aging fleet of older C-130s and their great service to our Nation? Isn't it time to say thanks and retire them, they have done their duty, they'll get their check, it is the new generations turn to start paying into the system. Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs