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Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:21 am

I know that military personnel can fly on a C-5 Galaxy as a passenger under space A. I was wondering, has anybody here ever been a passenger on a C-5 or a C-17, and if so, how was the flight? While on cruise, some TAD personnel from the IKE was on our ship, and they had to fly home in a C-130 ( talk about a bad situation   ).

PS: If a space A flight is a military plane, do they have F/As?
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:49 am

As far as a C-5 goes it's like an airliner only you sit backwards and there is no windows.

As for F/As. The Loadmaster and anyother crew on board perform the duties of F/As.

On Navy C-9s, C-20s and C-40s the junior crew position was titled "flight attendant" it has since been changed to TSS Transport Safety Specialist. On the C-130 that position is called the 2LM (second loadmaster). The C-12 that duty is performed by the TA (Transport Aircrewman) it's the only crew position and is really a mix of Crew Chief and Loadmaster.

And yes the C-130 is very uncomfortable for use a people mover. Especially when you have cargo on board as well. I use to take my own folding chair for long flights because it was more comfortable when your flying days on end.
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:25 am

I have never flown space A. I have however had the pleasure of riding on A C-5, C-17, KC-135 and C-23 for work.

I flew on a Tennesee Air National Guard C-5A from Ramstien AFB to Elmendorf AFB with a overnight stop in Gander. The flight wasn't bad except for not having windows. The seats had plenty of room and since we were lightly loaded with Pax we were all able to lay down and get some sleep. They did not have a flight attendant. They did have one of the load masters there to babysit us.

My C-17A flight was from Pristina to Ramstien AFB. All we had for seats were the troop seats along the inside wall of the aircraft facing twards the center of the aircraft. Take off and landing felt really weird due to the unusual seating position. Again, the lack of windows was kinda lame. Being in the main cargo compartment, we had load masters to babysit us.
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:53 am

My first C-5 flight was in March 1973 - Danang to Cubi Point. We loaded several classified intel processing trailers and flew over to Cubi where squadron ops were moved.

In general - it is far, far from a commercial flight. The seats are not bad - compared to 1965-70 standards. As noted above - no windows. No in-flight entertainment. Any food is a box-lunch of rubber chicken from the base flight kitchen, or a mystery meat sandwich. Not very good toilets either in my opinion.

Also the C-5 and C-141 seem to have less sound insulation than a commerical jet in my opinion. But maybe it was because my hearing was much better back then.

I've made a few other C-5 flights some in the lower cargo area.

That is much like the C-141 flights which my then wife and small children took alone, and occasionally with me back when I was stationed on Antigua and the C-141 from/to Patrick was the best Space A transportation (faster than the DC-6 Combi flown by Rich International). Those flights may have had two or three rows of temp seats between the cargo and the front of the cabin depending upon the cargo load - though I usually preferred the fold-down jump seats along the side - I could stretch out and sleep better.

I was always cold on USAF cargo flights. I don't know if the environmental controls are different than on civilian aircraft, or it was because the volume of the cargo space made it harder to heat/ control. Or it might have been because every member of the crew wears flight suits which are much warmer than the clothes civilian crews wear.
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:52 pm

I flown as a passenger on a C-97 Wright-Patterson to Offutt, basically it was a nice flight, light snack/drink served by steward, airline style seats, just no windows. However, after landing I was selected to assist in unloading the baggage.

A T-29 (C-131) Offutt to George, loud and slow but you had a nice table and instruments in front of you. Box lunches and coffee were the only and amenities.

Three KC-135's Beale to Okinawa and return, Beale to McCoy, loud, uncomfortable web seats and no heat, box lunches (up 15 hour flights) and they tried to kill me on all three flights.

A C-141 McCoy to Beale again web seats, box lunches, no windows but not as loud as the T-29 or KC-135.
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:33 pm

No C-5, but my thrill ride was on a C-2 Greyhound catapulting off a carrier and trappin' back on a carrier last summer from the Western Pacific to Pensacola, FL for a month. Other then that, normally we'll fly on a C-9 or a C-40 (squadrons) and every ride I'm on, I'm usually flying jumpseat in the cockpit. Sometime I prefer military charters then Comm Air travel.
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:34 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 4):
and they tried to kill me on all three flights

You had me literally lol'ing, thank you! Good stories all.
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:14 am

The only military aircraft I've flown on was the C-141, several flights. Sitting in the seats along the side of the fuselage, facing the center of the plane, we had to keep our feet up...the bottom foot or so of space was COLD!! I felt like my feet were freezing up! I never did learn why it was like that, though.

Regarding the C-5, while I've never flown on one, I did get a tip-to-tail top-to-bottom tour of one, given to me by a friend who was a C-5 pilot at the time I was on active duty with the Air Force. One comment he made to me as he was describing its capabilities. "The C-5 can carry 95% of the army inventory. I don't know what the 5% is that it CAN'T carry, unless it's the fourth and fifth floors of the Pentagon!"
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:00 pm

130s and 141s weren't so bad when you had your vehicles with you. I just sat in the front seats of the trucks. Never had the pleasure of riding a 5.
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:57 pm

I've flown on the C-5 and C-141 a number of times.

C-5 could be a bit disconcerting for me during taxi. 1. You sit facing backwards in the troop compartment. 2. There are no windows for outside reference. 3. Troop compartment was well aft of the point the aircraft turned about. So when the aircraft turned right it felt as though we should be going left etc. As I was familiar with the airfields, I tried to keep track of where we were and got lost... Let the aircraft do a 180 or a 360 & I would be completely clueless. lol

Temperature control in the C-5 & C-141 is tough due to the big open spaces. Convection and gravity will do their best to keep your feet cold and your head... hmm lukewarm... Even the seperate troop compartment on the C-5 suffers from this issue due to the open grate floor (to dump air in a decompression) in the galley. On the 141 if I was in a sidewall seat I'd try to find a box, baggage, or vehicle to use as a hassock to keep my feet off the floor. Also if there were space-a pax on the 141 with sidewall seats often times the Loads would layout blankets on the floor for kids to play on. The kids had a great time with lots of room, but they must have burned up a lot of energy staying warm on that floor. I never saw it personally, but the kids must have a gotten a great ride (or a wonderful bruise) when the aircraft hit some unexpected turbulence - it was a LONG way to the ceiling...
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:28 pm

I wonder why the seats are facing backward?
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:48 pm

I was told in techschool that the seats face backward because Lockheed thought it was safer to fly that way when designing the aircraft. According to safety reports from the Dover crash, the pax and loadmasters didn't even know they had crashed until after the loads noticed they couldn't get a hold of the flight deck....and the extra light coming from the cargo compartment.  

As far as flying on the C-5, I always tell my friends to sit in the middle of the compartment. Too close to the front of the aircraft and it gets pretty warm, too far aft, and it gets cold. Us loadmasters are always bugging the engineers to adjust the heat (something I would have thought they would have given us control of with the AMP mod). Its definitely more comfortable than the C-17 as far as seats are concerned, but less comfortable than a KC-10. Box lunches are hit or miss, just depends on the base's flight kitchen. Travis AFB usually does a pretty decent job, Hickam does better.

Hope you have fun on your Space-A trip!
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:11 pm

If flown on the C-5, C-141 and the C-17. Never as a Space A pax though. As far as experiences go:

C-5 - I was deploying to Kuwait so we were packed in there pretty tightly. Took off from Georgia, had to divert to Dover for an air conditioning problem. Took off from Dover and we froze our tails off all the way to Spain then Kuwait. Other than that it was a fairly smooth ride sitting backwards with no windows. Luckily flew commercial home.

C-141/C-17 - Was a flying crew chief on these two aircraft. Flew completely empty and completely full. Both are good planes and loud on the inside but loved them. I miss my flying days.
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Thu May 05, 2011 3:04 am

The C-17, whilst quite noisy, is a good jet to fly on Space-A once the aircraft commander lets you out of your sidewall seat. Those seats aren't very comfortable; the cockpit seats are much, much better  . Once out of your seat, you can lay a blanket or a sleeping bag down (depending on floor space available) and take a nice nap. The cargo floor is heated and is way more comfy than the ol' Tube of Pain (C-141). Since the jet flies slightly nose-high, your warmest part of the cargo compartment is in the forward section closest to the loadmaster station. Anything aft of the wings, you'll need an extra blanket, especially by the troop doors. A side note: the gap between the cargo door and the ramp makes a great place to put the drenched boots of "dollar-riders" who take them off whilst napping in bunk; the boots tend to turn into blocks of ice quite quickly  . Another convenience are six 115V wall outlets along the sidewalls. While you can plug a laptop or other device into them, it's not exactly legal according to the vol3. However, I've never seen anyone get yelled at for it.

The KC-135 is not as pleasant to fly on. You have web seats and the environmental system is no bueno. Your feet will freeze and your head will bake. It has a couple sets of crew bunks in the tail, with one bunk above the other. The guy in the top bunk will sweat his butt off; the guy in the bunk four feet below him is shivering despite a blanket and a winter jacket. Unless you have a very warm sleeping bag and a jacket, don't sleep in the boom pod. It gets wicked cold down there.

The C-5 I flew several years ago gave me a good trip. Granted I was stretched out on the three seats in my row, but it was great nonetheless  . Too bad my C-130 rides weren't as good. Being crammed into a Herk cheek-by-jowl with at least 70-some other dudes is not fun. Plus, the enviro system didn't work for about half of the two hour flight, adding to the misery. And yes, it was noisy and bumpy, too. Thank God it was at night in November when we took off from Kuwait; I'd be hating life if it was a daytime flight in August!
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Fri May 06, 2011 7:49 pm

I remember back in 1980 flying aboard a C-141 from Lawson Airfield to Ft. Irwin CA with my battery...Either it was too hot or cold air vapor was pouring out of the ductwork...we were given C-rations for chow..flight was smooth until we were about 45 min from landing. Seems some airborne troops with us needed some jumps for their logs, when we started descending and the side blast doors were extended, that airplane started really bouncing around and those C's started coming back up..boy was that Air Force loadmaster PISSED.... guess there was not enough barf bags loaded..or used too late..and as the medic for my battery..everyone was begging for compazine tablets....
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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sat May 07, 2011 4:21 am

A couple years back, I got to go on a flight with my CAP unit in a KC-10 out of McGuire. We did a few in-air refuellings...IIRC, we did a flight of 4 F-16's, 4 F-22's, and another KC-10. The seats were standard airline seats, and surprisingly, the seatbelts were quite large...a concern for a large person like myself. As far as F/A's go, they carried an additional boom operator who pretty much did the tasks an F/A would do on a commercial flight. It was very roomy, as we only had about 15 people on board.

I was actually sitting in the cockpit while we were with the F-16's and F-22's. It was really cool to look out the window and see them, yet look at the radar display and see nothing around us on the display. Also during the flight, we had the chance to go down where the boom operator sits. That was a cool sight to see.

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RE: Has Anybody Here Ever Been A Passenger On A C-5?

Sat May 07, 2011 8:36 am

Yup – I was a flying crew chief on the C-5 a long time ago so I was able to mostly ride upfront. However, I also rode frequently in the back (TDYs, etc.) so I experienced both ends if you will. From a PAX perspective sitting in the rear, it was usually loud and could be cold. Seemed like it was either too cold or too hot – never just right. So you had to ensure you were dressed in layers. But the worst thing about sitting in the back was being located right behind the lavatories – they always stunk real bad. But the flights themselves were generally smooth given the size of the C-5. I also flew sideways on the C-141 quite a bit but missed out on the C-17 experience.

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