usa4624
Posts: 274
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 10:51 am

US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 10:14 am

What type / airlines did the US Military use during the Vietnam war? I imagine they'd be the DC 8 and 747, but am not sure when they first entered service.

I've seen everything from a Pan Am L1011 in 'Last Flight Out,' and a United DC8 in 'Good Morning Vietnam,' but I do not know how authentic these are.

Thank you for your time and assistance.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
PacificFlyer
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 11:30 am

RE: US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 10:48 am

The movie Last Flight Out was misleading. In reality the aircraft that was used was a 747. Pan Am made a few regular flights in and out of Siagon prior to the last flight out and was one of the last foreign company to leave South Vietnam. New York kept asking "When do you plan to leave?" Al topping, Pan Am's station manager replies, "I don't know yet. We're operating a 747 with a lot of seats on it and people are still buying tickets, so let's keep flying." Flight 841 feft Guam for Saigon via Manila on 22 April 1975 with only 19 passengers on board the 747. On the way back there was only 91 passengers out of Saigon on the next to last flight. Then tension grew more and more as the North Vietnamese army came close to the airport. 24 April was the final flight out, FAA announced that Tan Son Nhut became too dagerous for commercial aircraft. After negotiationw with the Air Force and State Department PA841 became an Air Force mercy flight known as Special Air Mission 1965/31 Evacuation Charter MNL/SGN/MNL. A wire was recieved from FAA regarding the configuration for the 747 for evacuation, lifting seat restrictions and certain emergency procedures:
REFERENCE MT 231330 HEREWITH APPROVED PROCEDURES FOR PASSENGER CARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS ARE WAIVED
ONE/FICL SEATS 2 PASSENGERS PER DOUBLE SEAT 1 PASSENGER ON FLOOR BETWEEN EACH ROW /BACK TO WALL FEET TO AISLE/REMAINING PASSENGERS ON FLOOR WHERE SPACE AVAILABLE STOP
TWO/ECONOMY AREA 10 ABREAST CONFIGURATION INCREASE EY BY 10 PER CENT 3 PAX PER TRIPLE SEAT 3 PAX PER DOUBLE SEAT/RETRACT ARM RESTS 5 PAX ABREAST IN CENTER SECTION OF SEATS/RETRACT ARM RESTS
THREE/LOAD 28 PAX IN UPPER LOUNGE CMA AFTER ALL SEATS OCCUPIED REMAINDER OF PAX ON FLOOR
FOUR/MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PASSENGERS BASED ON ABOVE PROCEDURES AND USING CONFIG 30/370 IS TOTAL 495 PASSENGERS STOP
FIVE/BASIC LIMITATIONS OBSERVE NORMAL WEIGHT AND BALANCE LIMITS SEAT BELT REQUIREMENTS ARE WAIVED EMERGENCY REQUIREMENTS ARE WAIVED EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS ARE WAIVED DO NOT ADD LIFE VESTS/LIFT RAFTS/OXYGEN FOR ADDITIONAL PAX NO LIMITATIONS FOR INFANTS IN ARMS OR SMALL CHILDREN IN LAPS
SIX/ALL ABOVE WITH CONCURRANCE OF CREW AND EVACUACUEES STOP
 
gr8slvrflt
Posts: 1449
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 10:53 pm

RE: US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 10:51 am

Eastern used DC-8-63s extensively for MAC charters.
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
VC-10
Posts: 3546
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 11:00 am

I remember seeing on the news a 727 taking off with the airstairs still down with people clinging on to them and the u/carriage. As the a/c climbed away you saw these people being blown off.
 
fanofjets
Posts: 1979
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2000 2:26 am

RE: US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 12:11 pm

The 727 belonged to World Airways. The plane was carrying far more people than there were seats (270!). The airstairs were eventually retracted, but the main gear had to be left down because of a stowaway lodged in one of the wells (the nose gear was retracted, though). One of the wings also sustained damage from a grenade. Certainly a testament to the strength of the design.

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Photo © John P. Stewart


Read the following stories:
http://www.afa.org/magazine/April2000/0400saigon.html

A C-5A Galaxy was not nearly as lucky. Despite the pilot's heroic attempt to bring the stricken aircraft (control cables severed after massive in-flight decompression) back, the plane crashed, killing many children on board. I still remember reading about that tragic incident.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
fanofjets
Posts: 1979
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2000 2:26 am

RE: US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 12:13 pm

I also found this interesting Web site on Air America:
http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/AirAmerica/Best/AirAmerica.htm
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
IMissPiedmont
Posts: 6200
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 12:16 pm

CO had an almost daily Travis AFB-HNL-GUM-SGN flight using 707s. Flying Tiger, Seaboard World, Trans International and World were other large MAC charter carriers. The most common aircraft were the 707-300 and DC-8-63. The 747 was somewhat rare for ingress nut common in late 1974 and 1975 for the evacuation.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
fanofjets
Posts: 1979
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2000 2:26 am

RE: US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 12:29 pm

For pictures of the actual plane, click here (article is in Portuguese):
http://727.assintel.com.br/hist/esp5.htm
Amazingly, the aircraft is still flying, as a freighter for UPS (according to Bill Harms's Web site)! The same plane in earlier guises:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Ljungdahl



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Torsten Maiwald



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John P. Stewart

The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
erj-145mech
Posts: 305
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 4:21 am

RE: US Army Charter Aircraft During Vietnam

Tue Apr 29, 2003 10:16 pm

I was on a Branif International B707 out of Travis AFB in 1969, and I saw at least one Southern Air Transport B727 Combi (cargo in the front, PAX in the aft) from Andersen AFB, Guam, to Tan Son Nhut and Cam Ran Bay.

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