From my years that I was in 6th-9th Grade I was in the Civial Air Patrol. The Civil Air Patrol is an Auxillary of the United States Air Force and get there funding completly from the USAF. The main goal of it is to teach young people what the Air Force has to offer and educate youngers about flight. Some of the perks of this experience was you can schedule flights on military transports. My squadron had two flights with the military and I want to share them with you. It happened years ago so bear with me I will try to give you as much detail as possible but it was long ago.
January of 1996
Out of McGuire Air Force Base New Jersey
I remember getting up early at 5 in the morning to be ready for my pick-up. The Civil Air Patrol has a lot of Commerical Airline Pilots as it's members and an EWR based CO 727Captain (at that time he was on the 727 I think he is a 757 or 767 Captain now) picked me up at my house around 5:30 for our 7 AM departure out of McGuire. This guy was a pretty cool guy because he also flew F-16 in the Air National Guard etc. The other cadets that were on this trip were in the van and we headed to the airport. We got to the base at 6:30 AM and immedietly got on a bus and headed to our C-141. I believe this was a training misson for an ANG unit. The Loadmaster briefed us saying that we would fly out to Kentucky get and then the crew would practice AIR TO AIR refueling with 2 KC-135s from the ANG unit out there. We also got foam ear-plugs and took our seats. They said we were lucky because we got actual seats instead of the neting. There were 2 rows with probably 6 seats per row. There were only 5 of us so we had plenty of room. The seats faced backward and I remember the massive rear of the aircraft. It was very cold in the plane as the heat had not been cranked up. There were only 4 windows at the emergency exit hatches in the cargo hold of the aircraft. Anyway the pilot started the engine and boy was it loud. Take-off was the usual except we were facing backward. After a few minutes the Fasten Seat Belt Sign was turned off. Yes they have those. And we were free to move around the cabin. I parked myself by the window towards the rear and noticed the loudness of the engine and the huge wing structure. I then went to the restroom which was basically a closet with a steel toilet. We then were able to get visits to the flight deck which i loved. I stayed up there sitting in the 3rd seat until they said they are in range of the refueling planes. They asked me to go back and take my seat. I noticed the turbulent of the air as we approached the other planes. It was pretty bumpy. But anyway after 3 minutes they asked if we wanted to see the other aircraft. We went up to the flight deck. We had to climb a latter to get up there and I was struck by this huge KC-135 in the window with another a few feet away. I saw the refueling tech. on the other plane. I also noticed lights of the belly of the KC-135 that were constantly going of. The crew said that is a directional signal. I thought that was pretty neat. The Military Crew went COMPLETELY out of their way to make sure my squadron had a memorable experience and were awesome. The other planes departed and I stayed up in the flight deck. The Captain (I am sorry Commander of the Plane) asked if I wanted to stay up front for the trip back. I jumped at the opportunity. I took the jumpseat and flew from Kentucky back to New Jersey up front which was awesome. Don't remember much more but we had a nice landing and flight back to New Jersey. Definently an awesome experience.
Out of McGuire Air Force Base New Jersey
This mission would be a KC-135 out of McGuire would refuel their other NJ Air National Guard F-16 Fighter out of Atlantic City NJ. We would do our refueling track of the coast in the restricted airspace of the Atlantic. This plane was the netting type seating and had a spectacular take-off. We flew for a few minutes then we were allowed up. I immedietly went with the refueling tech and crawled down to the refueling cab. You layed down on your stomach and had a great view of the earth below. I saw Cape May Point then the vast blue of the Atlantic. I got up then got a seat by the window of the over wing exit. When the F-16s arrived I crawled back down and watched the Refueling Tech. do his work with the F-16s below. We had about 10 cadets on this trip so my time down there was short but neat. Visited the flight deck of this converted 707 and once again I got lucky and was able to stay there until until we shut down the engines. Another neat time.
I hoped you liked this different report. I would like to thank the members of these two different flight crews for this awesome experience. You guys are really appreciated. Please resond and tell me what you think of these reports. Thanks