Saturday, August 30, 2008

61999 final shutdown

On 30 Aug 08, the airplane launched on its final flight. Takeoff at McChord was 0800 and landing at Travis at 1101 PDT. At shutdown, the airplane had logged some 18,250 flight hours with more than 6,100 landings. Thanks to all those who made this last flight possible. It will be an excellent display in the Travis Museum. There will be lots of excellent footage from which to create a superb C-133 DVD.

Friday, August 29, 2008

61999 at McChord, 28-30 Aug

The airplane touched down on a cloudy evening at just before 1900. We got really good footage of the roll-out, taxi-in and shutdown. Over two hours, three photographers shot a whole bunch of film, including interior and exterior shots, cargo handling and interviews. On Saturday morning, the subject will be engine start, taxi out, takeoff and departure. Hopefully, the active will be 16, which will take the departing airplane past the camera spot, with Mt Rainier in the background. Pray for clear skies.

There were only some minor squawks, including cracks in the outer pane of the right side forward windscreen. The engineer said not a problem. They are not carrying a high pressurization differential.

Some of the new USAF markings peeled in flight. But, that will not be a problem to fix. It will still be a USAF airplane on landing at Travis.

The engineer says 61999 is a great airplane that has never given much problem, over close to 35 years. The museum is getting a good airplane and he is happy that it is getting a good home.

61999 Now at McChord AFB

First leg successful! Go to Cal Taylor's blog and scroll down to the 28 Aug update for the latest report.

Click on: Cal Taylor's Blog

Thursday, August 28, 2008

61999 to arrive McChord AFB

The airplane now belongs to the Travis Museum. The ferry permit is in hand. Departure from Ted Stevens IAP, Anchorage, AK is at about 1100 local, with ETA to McChord at 1630 today, 28 Aug. There, it will park on the Echo Ramp, near the McChord Museum restoration hangar. If the crew is up to it, there will be a cargo swap this afternoon. Some stuff for the McChord Museum off load, onload of stuff to Travis Museum.

I will be there with still and video camera. There will be a professional videographer, working for the Travis Museum. PAO has been alerted. The plan is to film as much of the approach as possible, plus taxi-in, shutdown, and loading evolution. I hope also to shadow the engineer, during his preflight on Saturday and then to get engine start, taxi-out and takeoff (from a distance). Departure from TCM is probably NLT 0730, to make Travis at 1030.

There was an engine run at Anchorage, all okay, then two flights. One had a video team aboard to document the operation. Shots of takeoff/departure and of landing were also done.

The airplane has been re-militarized with stars and bar, tail number, etc, so it will be a USAF airplane landing at TCM and SUU.

Cal Taylor


BREAKING NEWS!! Just got the following from Fred Galey, who got it from Chuck (?):

The last C-133 flight will land at Travis on Saturday, August 30, 2008. It is one of the birds that was in Alaska. It is scheduled to land between 10 and 1030 Saturday morning. After landing it will become part of the Travis AFB Air Museum. It has been donated by the fellow that flew them in Alaska. They had to raise $68,000.00 to cover the fuel costs. Chuck

Wish I could be there! I'm sure Cal Taylor will provide photos, and probably videos!

Thank you, Fred!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Agent Orange Update

A new Comment was just added to a previous Post on this subject. I've re-Posted the Comment here for better visibility....thank you, Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

"Well, it looks like some of our brethren have sold the rest of us down the river on HR 6562. John Rossie and his cohorts have convinced Filner to modify the bill to the point that it has no chance of ever being passed in the House, much less in the Senate. I am disgusted with the whole thing and just feel that I can no longer believe anything this group has to say."

August 26, 2008 12:43 PM

Saturday, August 23, 2008

23 Aug Update 61999

Please put the word out to the C-133 community that we motored the engines and then started the engines on the 133, all went PERFECT! All four engines fired over without a single hitch, it was truly an exciting moment to see all four engines running, she's a stout old gal!
Speaking of towing, I had to pay $400.00 from our funds to have the 133 towed to the maintenance spot, the person definitely took advantage of us and our predicament.
This is why it is still important for us to put out the word that extra money for incidentals is badly needed!
Tuesday is the date we hope to do the test flight around Anchorage, there is no doubt in mind the 133 will perform flawlessly.
I will keep you posted on our progress,
Best regards from Alaska,
Terry Juran

Monday, August 18, 2008

"True Survivor" Colleague

The following three e-mails were just received by our Book of the Month Reviewer, Rick Spencer (39th ATS Navigator, '62-'65) from Bill Neely (40th ATS C-124s & 1607th Flightline Maintenance Squadron, consolidated maintenance, '55-'58, when the 39th was converting from C-54s to the brand new 133s). So Bill was in Dover when C-133 #54-0146 "augered in, inverted" in Georgetown, DE, with 4 fatalities. Here's his story:

17 Aug 2008

Hi Rick:
You probably don't remember me but I'm one of your high school classmates.
I spent nearly all my adult life in aviation as a mechanic and pilot. Also did about 20 years of skydiving and parachute rigging as a hobby.
I retired from the FAA in 1997.
I was talking to an old friend the other day who was in the Air Force when I was and we were discussing the various types of aircraft when we were on active duty.
I was at Dover AFB from 1955 through 1958. I was in a C-124 outfit as a mechanic and later a crew chief (started in the old 40th Air Transport Squadron-MATS).
There was also a C-54 squadron there.
About 2 years before I was discharged (maybe less) the new C-133's were assigned to Dover to replace the C-54's. While I was there they had the first (I think) fatal accident with the C-133.
A civilian C-46 (Logair) pilot supposedly saw the aircraft on it's back falling out of control.
I never did hear an official answer as to what happened. I think there was a rumor that the props may have reversed in flight.
One of our hangars was used to reconstruct the airplane wreckage.
As I recall the aircraft were grounded and I don't remember if they got back flying or not before I left Dover.
I was wondering if you could point me towards a web site that may have accident information on the C-133.
During my nearly 30 years with FAA I participated in numerous civilian aircraft accidents, but never got involved with any military investigations.
Since I survived many hours in "Old Shaky" and you did likewise in the C-133, we can be termed "True Survivors".
Thank you in advance for any information you may provide.
Stay safe.

Bill Neely

I found a brief description of the accident I inquired about.
It occurred 13 April 1958 about 8 months prior to my leaving Dover.
Crashed inverted about 17 mins after takeoff @ Georgetown, Delaware.
4 fatalities. Not much info.
That may be all that's available.

Thanks Rick:
That's the web-site that I had book marked from your message to Mitch quite awhile back.The accident I'd mentioned was the first fatal accident with the C-133. A probable cause was never determined. Most of the accidents with that aircraft went in the "undetermined" category. From what I found on various web-sites only one accident had survivors.
You are probably familiar with the various sites. They all have good info and many photos.
When I was at Dover the 39th was the C-54 squadron. As I mentioned, I was in the 40th. Later we became the 1607th Flightline Maintenance Squadron (consolidated maintenance).
Shortly before I was discharged we got a new assistant crew chief named Robinson. He had been a flight engineer on C-124's and got tired of box lunches and living out of a B-4 bag. He was one of my bosses those last few months of active duty.
Many years later he showed up at my FAA office in Columbia, South Carolina to get authorization to take the examinations for his civilian mechanic's license. He retired from Charleston AFB (troop carrier outfit). He was a civilian Fixed Base Operator in the Charleston area until he finally retired for good. I hear from him every now and then. Small world - huh? When I left the Air Force I never thought I'd see any of those guys again.
I met a lot of old C-124 guys in the FAA. Also at Charleston AFB civilian aero-club.
When I came to South Carolina in 1975 there was an aircraft museum in Florence, SC. It was out in the open along the highway beside the Florence airport. In it was 52-1074. A C-124 from Dover.
The owner of the place either died or went broke and the airplanes disappeared. It turns out that my friend Robinson and some other retired C-124 guys got the airplane patched up enough for a ferry flight to Charleston AFB. The airplane is on display inside the main gate of the base.
Robinson told me the ferry flight was quite an adventure. The fabric covered control surfaces were patched up with duct tape. There were fuel leaks everywhere and not many of the instruments worked. About 10 minutes out of CAFB the duct tape on one elevator came loose and set up a lot of vibration. Anyway they made it safely and the airplane is on display. Looked pretty good to me the last time I saw it. The crew chief on it when at Dover was a good friend of mine from Florida.
Once again, thank you for the information. It's good to hear from you. I look forward to the updates from Mitch. That's a nice thing he's doing for all us old farts. Later.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Important Agent Orange Input

Another Comment was left on Cal Taylor's original Post on this subject. Again, to make it more visible, I'm pasting it into this new Post. THANK YOU, VNVets for the connection!

Anonymous VNVets said...

I was at the introduction of the bill. One of the things I insisted upon when asking for this legislation was the inclusion of the "Blue Sky" Air Force Veterans who were stripped of their Agent Orange benefits in 1993 by the DVA, just as the Blue Water Navy Veterans were stripped of their benefits in 2002.

Congressman Filner's intent is to revert the criteria for presumptive exposure to Agent Orance to receipt of the Vietnam Service Medal. The bill, even though in its infancy, includes language that is specifically aimed at restoring benefits to the Air Force.

Also, we are in receipt of a letter [to an Air Force Veteran who served in Thailand, that Filner intends to include the TLC Veterans [those who served in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia] and received the Vietnam Service Medal. There will be more changes to the bill as it wends its way through Congress. This is HR 6562.

At the same time we are pressing for passage of a recently introduced bill [HR 6798 - Kagen [D-WI], whichj would add cancers of the gastro intestinal tract, including pancreatic, liver, and biliary cancer, to the list of Agent Orange diseases.

One other bill that already passed the House and is in the Senate now is HR 5892 - Hall [D-NY], which corrects many administrative deficiencies in the DVA, in addidition to fixing the widow's problem [widows will no longer have to recert to square one when their husband's die while a claim is in process. They can pick up as the claimant, and have an additional year to file evidence. The bill also expands the jurisdiction of the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to include the merits of the claim, rather than just the process itself.

If you would like to follow the progress of this and join our fight come visit the VNVets Blog at

We've added your blog to our link list.

August 15, 2008 11:59 PM

Friday, August 15, 2008

Agent Orange Comment

In the interest of making a rare Comment more visible, here's one just left on an earlier Post:

"I was in that situation. I flew in and out of Vietnam from Travis and Norton. I did not have any problem convincing the VA that I had been there. I have a flight evaluation form which specifically referenced being at Bien Hoa and Saigon. That was all it took.

I can see where this legislation will make it easier for some but I also see where it could cause even more problems."


August 15, 2008 5:53 PM

To see the original Post, click on: Agent Orange Legislation


Thursday, August 14, 2008

61999 schedule

The closest we have at this point is "the 28th" or "the 29th", as MX backup. I requested that Ken Kozlowski, the FET/MX chief, email me when they have their ETA to McChord. I don't know where they will park, though I hope it will be in front of base ops. I'll post more detailed info as soon as I have some.

61999 Update 15 Aug 08

Terry Juran has the stencils cut for USAF markings on 61999. The big hope there is that the weather in Anchorage will be good, when he goes up to apply the markings.

There is money in the kitty for fuel and a bit more, but the inflow has pretty much stopped. If anyone can send money, it will help with various "incidentals," such as site prep, insurance, whatever.

The plan still is to fly to McChord on 28 Aug (with 29 Aug the MX backup) and then to Travis to arrive at 1030 on 30 Aug.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Update on 61999 move to Travis

Travis Museum director Terry Juran spent most of last week in Anchorage. The airplane will be test-flown there, later this month. A TV crew will document that flight, both externally and internally. On the ferry flight, FAA will allow only the essential crew (pilots and engineer).

The fuel fund is complete but any further contributions will be essential to covering incidentals: insurance, site preparation, aircraft renovation, etc. All contributions will be dedicated to the C-133 project.

Terry Juran will return to Alaska, in August, with all of the aircraft markings to bring it to USAF standard. So, it will be a USAF airplane that flies into Travis.

The basic schedule is, maintenance gods willing, to fly from PANC to McChord on 28 Aug, with 29 Aug as the backup. The final leg will be McChord-Travis on 30 Aug. That leg may even include air-to-air photos.

Details on the C-133 at Travis will be posted, when available, on the Travis AIr Expo web site: They will also be on Cal Taylor's web site ( and will be posted here.