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Vietnam C-5 packed with passengers

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Vietnam C-5 packed with passengers

Old 19th Aug 2021, 04:41
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Vietnam C-5 packed with passengers

Seeing Reach 871 full of people reminded me of an incident I had read about.
A C-5 during the Vietnam war that took off with close to 1,000 people on board, seated crossways in the same way and holding on to ropes.
I think it holds the current record for a military jet carrying the most pax.
(Not thinking of the operation babylift flight - which crashed).
Does any one else know of this - I can't find it referred to on Google.
I know the civilian pax record is the Ethiopian El Al 747 flight with just over a thousand on board.
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 09:32
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The numbers (as records) are slightly misleading since aircraft size (and normal capacity) would be a factor - e,g. the Sabena 707 (?) out of Elizabethville during the Congo evacuation in the 60s.
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 11:35
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I don't see how size and normal capacity would mislead in relation to the record for 'most passengers carried'. That's just a matter of having of the biggest number. The factors you mention would only bear upon a record for 'most proportionally overloaded'.
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 18:13
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Didn't one of the C-5's crash leaving Saigon, killing a bunch of people?
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 18:17
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Yup: emergency landing ended up short in a paddy field.

I recall also the World Airways 727 event...
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 19:14
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Salute!

Some urban legend there, Tart, but a C-5 did go down with many kids. Pressure and rear door problem required emergency landing and they did not make it due eventual loss of control. Amazing the low loss of life, as there were many folks onboard.

Worst one we had was Herc at Kham Duc, and legend is there were over 2 hundred on that one. Was in 68 Tet and look up the story of that camp, now declassified. Would make a great movie, and a cargo pilot got the MoH for his mission to get the last folks out. Joe Jackson, if memory serves. I was about a hundred miles south at Pleiku that day but was flying CAS missions further north near Hue best I recall, but we had missions all over II Corps and I corps that Feb.

Gums sends...
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 19:14
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El Al 747 on Operation Solomon - evacuation of refugees from Ethiopia had over 1000 passengers i believe.
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 19:49
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Gums. If you haven't already, you need to write a book!
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 21:09
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Originally Posted by gums View Post
Salute!

Some urban legend there, Tart, but a C-5 did go down with many kids. Pressure and rear door problem required emergency landing and they did not make it due eventual loss of control. Amazing the low loss of life, as there were many folks onboard.

Worst one we had was Herc at Kham Duc, and legend is there were over 2 hundred on that one. Was in 68 Tet and look up the story of that camp, now declassified. Would make a great movie, and a cargo pilot got the MoH for his mission to get the last folks out. Joe Jackson, if memory serves. I was about a hundred miles south at Pleiku that day but was flying CAS missions further north near Hue best I recall, but we had missions all over II Corps and I corps that Feb.

Gums sends...
Good Afternoon Gums:
First of all thank you for your service and as another poster said please write a book or share some vignettes of your service time as it will make excellent reading!
A330 Sends
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 23:39
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Salute!

Remember, I was not a volunteer to get shot at. I wanted to fly and wanted to step on sands of Mars, so a fighter slot was the ticket. back then. My timing was perfect, so met and flew with astronauts, got to check out in newest planes and was in the theater most active years...
1968,1972-73, and 1975 when the thing ended. My sqd covered the evac at Saigon.

No book for now, but I have interviews from writers and such all the time. F-16 net has many posts.

Tnx for nice words, and the outstanding few minutes by that Lord or House dude in Parliament about evacuation cheered up my bride and I yesterday.

Gums sends...
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Old 20th Aug 2021, 00:41
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I agree - Gums should definitely pull all that experience together in one book.
A further technical question for you all if I may.
Do heavy aircraft such as airliners or the C-17 use the weight on wheels sensors to measure the actual all up weight of the aircraft in real time, and then display that figure on the flight computer, EFIS thingey?
Would the Commander of Reach 871 have been able to watch a scrolling figure of the weight of his jet increasing by the second as people rushed up the ramp?
Or would he just rely on coms from his loadie saying `we've got roughly 800 pax on board boss' (they thought it was 800 rather than 600 at first) and do a quick mental calculation to get his MAUW on the spot?
Average pax = 200lbs, x 800 = 160,000lbs of human cargo.
The C-17 can carry one M1 Abrahms - weighing in at around 140,000lbs...
How does it work?

Last edited by tartare; 20th Aug 2021 at 01:05.
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Old 20th Aug 2021, 02:21
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Salute!

I cannot answer to the use of WoW to provide gross weight. Great question for the Tech Log, ya think? For the big birds, I would be more concerned with the cee gee, and we saw a great example at Bagram with a 747 and the video is disturbing.

OTOH, the first Viper FSD birds had actual strain gauges in the wing roots or fuselage to limit us. That implementation did not make it to the early production planes I flew ( Bk 1,5,10 and 15), and the computers used a simple normal gee.
===============================
When you are in the first squadron of an airplane, you are a test pilot. We lowly line pilots could find things that the Edwards or Pax River golden arms and company design folks never thot of. So I did the first deadstick landing in the A-37 at Saigon Intnl( battle damage), then the first successful failed leading edge flap failure landing in the Viper. Neither one had a procedure at that time, so you just play it by ear and be ready to jump. Course, knowing your jet and using common sense helps a lot.

Gums sends...

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Old 20th Aug 2021, 04:47
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Originally Posted by tartare View Post
A further technical question for you all if I may.
Do heavy aircraft such as airliners or the C-17 use the weight on wheels sensors to measure the actual all up weight of the aircraft in real time, and then display that figure on the flight computer, EFIS thingey?
Not on any aircraft that I ever worked on, which includes 737,747, 767 A320, A330, and A340.

All Weight on Wheels systems I've encountered have utilized simple proximity sensors, normally a couple of reed switches, on each leg which are actuated by targets mounted on the torque link. When the oleo is compressed the targets are brought close enough to the switches to actuate them. This places the aircraft into ground mode allowing various functions which are not possible in air mode, thrust reverser actuation as an example.
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Old 20th Aug 2021, 05:36
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Originally Posted by gums View Post
the first deadstick landing in the A-37 at Saigon Intnl( battle damage), then the first successful failed leading edge flap failure landing in the Viper.
Gums, I fully comply with others regarding you writing a book. However what are the aircrafts you did fly? This is a bit of a thread drift, but every time I read your comments (which are brilliant) I learn more, like you flying super tweets (which actually would probably be my second best choice to have a go on).
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Old 20th Aug 2021, 05:43
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I would be more concerned with the cee gee, and we saw a great example at Bagram with a 747 and the video is disturbing
To be fair gums the CoG was in the right place to start with but one item broke loose and tore through the aft pressure bulkhead.

C-17 - the loadmaster has the responsibly for crunching the numbers re load and CoG using this.

https://www.militaryaerospace.com/ho...ft-load-weight
Do heavy aircraft such as airliners or the C-17 use the weight on wheels sensors to measure the actual all up weight of the aircraft in real time
On board weighing and CoG calculation electronics are available, FAA requirements and PPRuNe discussion.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/.../AC_20-161.pdf

B744 Weight and Balance
C-17 can carry one M1 Abrahms - weighing in at around 140,000lbs
Weight for the M-1 is 135,000lbs which is 5,000lbs in excess of the permitted across ramp loading, the M-1 is the only load to have the dispensation.



Last edited by megan; 20th Aug 2021 at 06:12.
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Old 20th Aug 2021, 06:13
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Interesting.
It's all still quite manual and paper based in many respects.
13.2 Page 149 onwards in the USAF doc.
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Old 20th Aug 2021, 09:03
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There is/was a Twitter thread on the C-17 pax flight.

Technically it appears the C-17 volume rather than weight limited as far as pax is concerned. The calculations showing that the load limit of 77.5 tons is about the same weight as 1,250 at standard body weight. The limit therefore being how many could cram themselves inside.

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Old 20th Aug 2021, 13:20
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Breaking now - Reach 871 did in fact have 823 souls on board. Wow.
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Old 20th Aug 2021, 13:48
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I'd say most afghanis are well under 200lbs.

The weight limit is likely more a pressure and CoG loading thing than anything else - the entire floor covered with people experiences a lower pressure than the load distributed through the abrahms tracks but the CofG may stay the same as with the tank or may shift around a little.

In terms of overloading, you just need to fly a little bit faster (to double lift you only have to fly 1.4 times faster everything else being equal)
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Old 21st Aug 2021, 05:36
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Originally Posted by unmanned_droid View Post
I'd say most afghanis are well under 200lbs.

The weight limit is likely more a pressure and CoG loading thing than anything else - the entire floor covered with people experiences a lower pressure than the load distributed through the abrahms tracks but the CofG may stay the same as with the tank or may shift around a little.

In terms of overloading, you just need to fly a little bit faster (to double lift you only have to fly 1.4 times faster everything else being equal)

C17 max payload appears to be 170,000 pounds, even with 823 on board at 200Lbs each thatís 164,600, well beneath its limit and I doubt the average weight was that high
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