Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Legacy Lives!

Anyone, ever associated with a USAF C-133 Heavy Cargo Transport shares a unique bond. Flight crews, ground crews, families of crews, all have a living connection, not just because it was a unique airplane. But the airplane itself is the ultimate symbol of uniquely shared experiences.

This blog post attempts to sample the memories of those experiences through three dramatic moments, "The Last Flight" of the real thing in Aug, '08, when a "very old girl" C-133A S/N 61999 flew from her "commercial home" in Alaska (known in her commercial after-life as N199AB) back to California to become the "Travis Bird" in her final resting place.

Here was the post on this blog on 30 Aug 2008: "...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."

 And here's the same "old girl" in live action in May, '68, with a memory from Fred Dietsch (as posted on this blog on 22 Apr 2010): "I am attaching a photo of 61999 which I believe I took while flying between Andersen, Guam and Mactan, Philippines. My pilots were Capt Stan Bryk and Capt Bill Gilbert. We left Andersen on 18 May 68 in 62010; 61999 was right behind us so we made some lazy "S" turns and waited for them. They were cleared 2000 feet above us. When they caught up we flew loose formation to Mactan. The other Nav. (I think it was Jim Woody) and we took turns navigating."

To view the spectacular 5:48 video, "The Last Flight," be sure to click on HD, Full-screen, and crank up the sound to relive (as Jimmy Ratcliff, 1st ATS A/C in the 60s, says in the Comments) "Sweet music to old ears!"

Click on:

Then come back to this blog post for more memorable connections! 

OK, Memorable Moment #2 was in May, 2014, when Master RC Model Builder George Maiorana brought his Magnificent Replicate of C-133A S/N 62008 on display at the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB to our Crew Colleague Reunion in Dover, and taxied it around the apron in front of our own C-133B S/N 60536:

Click on: 

 And here are two photos of the model inside the cargo compartment of 0536, and with the remarkable builder, George Maiorana, in front of 0536:

The final Memorable Moment came in July with the Maiden Flight of George's model in Muncie, IN, where he achieved National Champion status:

And here is the message just received from George with the link access to a 12:40 video of The First Flight! Again, click on Theater Screen or Full Screen & turn up the sound! AMAZING!!


 Here is quick link to the video:

There will be an article on the plane in the October issue of Model Aviation magazine. Their video of the maiden flight will be posted on their site when the issue is released.

Fair skies,


We just heard from Randy Chambers, the grandson of a former 133 Crew Chief:

He said...

"What a beautiful model! My grandfather Cmsgt Jack Chambers was Crew Chief on the C-133 2008 when it set the weight lift record."

August 10, 2014 at 10:59 PM