Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Curse of the Cargomaster Feedback

Thank you for the following Comments:

The article was quite interesting and informative and one part in particular caught my attention; the testing at Edwards. It prompted this question.

Is there anybody out there who was at Wright-Patterson during the investigation of the C-133 when all 42 aicraft were grounded? There was an extensive inspection, and testing going on at the same time with two A models, 56-2000 & 56-2008 at Wright-Pat. Just curious?

Robert Houston

Thanks for the articles. I made one flight as a reservist several years after I separated from active duty. A major problem with the props had been fixed and the old birds were making some trips to Vietnam without maintenance delays. A lot of the tension that existed when we were in the 1st Squadron had disappeared. This was before the crash due to the structural failure.

Marion Johnson

I was asked by Gen Wallace to fly an airplane to Warner Robbins to have the plane dismantled and inspected by some of the best aeronautical minds in the U.S. This was done and then Gen. Wallace asked that I go as the FE, retrieve the aircraft, micro preflight the airplane and bring it home when ready. I spent two days inspecting the aircraft and then we flew it home. The first flight at home was with Gen Wallace on board. It is only fair that we give credit to Gen. Wallace as he is the one who insisted we fly our own aircraft to and from on all missions, no more staging C-133’s. He was, in every sense, the aircrewman’s general.

Sandy Sandstrom

My name is Art Szmuriga. I was a C-133 Pilot in the 1st MAS at Dover from July '68 through Jan '70. I went through the 2nd pilot, 1st pilot and AC upgrades before being sent to Cam Ranh Bay (Click on Air Base for history) to fly C-7A Caribous.

I read your letter to Mr. Sotham with great interest. I remember that when I graduated from Moody in June '68, I was extremely happy to get to Dover and accepted the C-133 mission with joy since we would go world wide, no staging, etc. I didn't know about many of the crashes, etc, and we didn't talk about them much at Dover. By the time I started flying the C-133, most of the problems were corrected. I have pleasant memories of flying the C-133 even though I had a few in-flight emergencies that turned out okay.

I would like you to check and confirm the date of the B model that disintegrated over Nebraska. Your letter gave a date of Feb 6, 1967. Please check this for correctness. I was at Dover when this happened and I seem to recall that it may have happened in 1969, but I'm not sure. Since I was at Dover from June '68 through Jan '70, it was in that time frame, rather than 1967. I also recall that they grounded the fleet and put the "belly bands" on after that crash.

If I am incorrect, please accept my apologies for not remembering correctly. If I am correct, you can go from there.

Thank You,

Art Szmuriga
Matthews, NC

NOTE: Art gets the "prize" for catching an inadvertant typo. It was 1969, and our blog post has been corrected.

I really found this interesting, I was on the way back to Dover when the one went in off Kadena, and we heard about it right after we got back.

I was deadheading back to Dover and was originally scheduled to catch the one that blew up over Nebraska, it was due to quick stop Travis about midnight, but I found out just a little earlier that there was one coming through at 0300 and elected to spend another couple hours in bed with my future wife and catch it. As we were through flying that one, we were hauled into Ops and almost locked up in a secure room. We could have no contact with the outside. After what seemed like hours, we were told what happened , taken right back to the plane and launched for Dover. I always had a theory, knowing that some loads I had helped haul out of Nam and found out later had been booby trapped, figured that this one had been, and it worked.

The reason I was deadheading, I'd been through the training on the RC-121 for Korat, and my shipment date was delayed several months, and had taken a short leave, gone back to McClellan to refresh before going to the Batcats.

James Mitchell

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