Saturday, 1 October 2011

Herky Bird C130B s/n 401

Matthew and I went off to the airshow at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. It was a beautiful day with flying displays by Aerosud Mirage F1AZ, Atlas Oryx, BAE Hawk Mk120, Denel AH-2A Rooivalk, Douglas C-47TP Turbo Dakota, Ilyushin IL-76, Harvards, Lockheed C130B Hercules, MBB BK117A, North American P-51D Mustang, Pilatus PC-7 Mk2 Astra, Saab JAS 39C Gripen, and even a Vampire T55. Interesting no Agusta A109LUH was seen.

For Matthew the Mini War was exciting as mock attacks by the army with armoured vehicles, helicopters and aircraft unfolded before us. But I found this C-130B more fascinating as it has quite a history behind it. 401 3724 was one of seven C-130B obtained from the USA in January 1963. It was nearly shot down by a SA-2 surface to air missile very near miss on the 4 April 1986 deep in Angola. The miss was so close they could smell the missile's exhaust fumes in the Herc's aircon. It is our oldest Herc still flying and it is still operational with flights to the DRC and Sudan.

This is an interesting shot as the front wheels touchdown. In my next shot the main wheels touchdown and in the following the main wheels are up like in this shot.

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