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ECFlyer
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Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:13 pm

I live along the Connecticut River and work in a local MA college town. Most Tuesdays and Thursdays we see Galaxies lumbering over the community, on training runs out of Westover. Often they go directly over my office, something I like but most probably do not!

With the weather finally nice, I was out on my road bike after work yesterday. Riding through the farm fields in North Hadley, I stopped to admire this giant floating along at what must be one of the slower speeds any large transport can sustain. Because of the river valley, we have one of the few "big sky" environments in interior New England, and one can watch the planes come up from the base, make a huge arcing turn, and head south again. Almost surreal over the barns and farmhouses and fields.

Both our local military aircraft are aged. We have some F-15s at Barnes (as loud as the 707s/727s landing at the EWR of my 1970s youth) and the Galaxies down in Chicopee. Just wondering if there is an update on Westover getting C-5Ms, and how many/how long they may stick around. Big USAF aircraft are endangered everywhere, but nowhere like the northeast, where Plattsburg, Loring, USNAS Brunswick and other are all memories.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:16 am

Westover is keeping 8 C-5M's, and have started the downsizing process. Their first C-5M is supposed to arrive in late 2016. They are inducting their B models about every 6 weeks or so, but the first 8 are going to Lackland. Westover is also one of 4 candidate bases for the KC-46A. Their last B model is supposed to be inducted in early 2017. They are planned to remain in service until at least 2040.

Enjoy the sound now...it is rare to hear anymore at Dover AFB.
 
2T2X1
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:10 am

I agree. While the C-5M is a great upgrade, they just don't sound right with the new engines. On the other hand, I didn't realize in almost 20 years of working them how dark the cargo compartment was until I loaded my first M. I loved the lighting upgrade.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:05 am

The lighting is a huge plus in the M model. I remember when the first three came back after testing and they still had the original insulation...it was "too bright" in there, which is why they picked the darker blue/gray interior. It is still nice and bright in there though!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:31 pm

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 1):
Westover is also one of 4 candidate bases for the KC-46A

Correct. If Westover is selected for the first AFRes Base for the KC-46A. The C-5Ms could move to the 914 AW, USAFR at IAG. The 914th currently shares the C-130H with the NYANG 107th AW. This would give all the C-130s to the NYANG and the C-5s to the AFRes.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Fri May 01, 2015 8:01 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Correct. If Westover is selected for the first AFRes Base for the KC-46A. The C-5Ms could move to the 914 AW, USAFR at IAG. The 914th currently shares the C-130H with the NYANG 107th AW. This would give all the C-130s to the NYANG and the C-5s to the AFRes.

The C-5s would stay at Westover. They would just have two platforms. Essentially the KC-46 would replace the 8 C-5s they lost. They have the ramp space and capability, so thats not an issue.
 
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STT757
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Fri May 01, 2015 12:47 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Correct. If Westover is selected for the first AFRes Base for the KC-46A. The C-5Ms could move to the 914 AW, USAFR at IAG. The 914th currently shares the C-130H with the NYANG 107th AW. This would give all the C-130s to the NYANG and the C-5s to the AFRes.

I think NY has excess capacity between Niagara Falls, Stewart, West Hampton, Schenectady and Syracuse. They can definitely consolidate some facilities. For instance they could move the 107 Airlift wing to Niagara falls, and or the 174th Attack wing. Leaving their ANG/AFR facilities spread out between Niagara Falls (Western), Stewart (Central) and West Hampton (Eastern Long Island).

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 5):
The C-5s would stay at Westover. They would just have two platforms. Essentially the KC-46 would replace the 8 C-5s they lost. They have the ramp space and capability, so thats not an issue.

Westover has tons of space which is why I don't understand the F-15s from Otis moved to Barnes, why not just consolidate at Westover?
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ECFlyer
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Fri May 01, 2015 12:57 pm

Interesting.

Besides living near Westover, I spend time 110 miles north in the UPPER Valley, not far from White River VT. Up there, I will quite often see transport aircraft overhead hooked up to KC-135s. Not sure if they are training or extending for C-17s/C-5s headed elsewhere (or both). When I see this activity, it has mostly (always?) been headed southbound.

So...if KC-46As show up at Westover, do they basically take over for the KC-135s in the Upper Valley corridor? Having lived in Maine, I would suspect the -135Rs I am seeing are flying out of Pease and/or Bangor (Dow).
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Sat May 02, 2015 10:19 pm

Doubt Westover will get the KC-46, as Pease will be the first to receive. The AMC most likely will not have two units of their new tanker in the same area.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 6):

Westover has tons of space which is why I don't understand the F-15s from Otis moved to Barnes, why not just consolidate at Westover?

That would require a huge infrastructure move, namely weapons storage fighter specific facilities. Westover has not housed a FIS since the early days of SAC, rather it was a heavy bomber base, that transitioned to a transport base about half way through its life.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Tue May 05, 2015 12:31 am

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 8):
Doubt Westover will get the KC-46, as Pease will be the first to receive. The AMC most likely will not have two units of their new tanker in the same area.

The NE US is one of the best places to base lots of tankers. The KC-46s going into PSM will be NHANG birds (currently KC-135Rs), there are also KC-10s and KC-135Rs (NJANG) at WRI, and KC-135Rs at BGR (MEANG) and PIT (PAANG).

Collectively they make up the Northeast Tanker Task Force. These tankers are mostly used to get transports, fighters, RECEEs, and bombers to or from the EU and the ME. These tankers often deploy to LPLA.
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Tue May 05, 2015 1:39 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
The NE US is one of the best places to base lots of tankers. The KC-46s going into PSM will be NHANG birds (currently KC-135Rs), there are also KC-10s and KC-135Rs (NJANG) at WRI, and KC-135Rs at BGR (MEANG) and PIT (PAANG).

I agree, but for the initial roll out of the type I doubt two NE bases would be the first to get them. I would think somewhere in the west or PACAF would be more likely to see it first. Eventually the NE will see a larger number of them, but not right off.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Tue May 05, 2015 8:44 pm

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 10):
I would think somewhere in the west or PACAF would be more likely to see it first.

Do you think the AF is that smart? LOL
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Thu May 07, 2015 12:21 am

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 11):
Do you think the AF is that smart? LOL

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Sat May 09, 2015 5:34 pm

Wasn't Westover saved from closing because it was a choice between Plattsburg and Westover, and Westover would have been a much more expensive one to clean up? That is my recollection. If so, I suspect the AF will continue to kick the can down the road and keep it active as long as possible.

I have a personal memory of C-5's out of Westover. One day around 2000 I was flying with a friend in his Mooney 231 (a REALLY fun plane to fly; I was flying, and he was in the right seat) just to the west of Westover heading south. We had flight following from Bradley, and suddenly this huge plane appeared heading right for us, which turned out to be a C-5. I called Bradley and said, "Hey, we have traffic here." The controller said, "Uhhh, yes, turn right." I said "No way, I am turning left; right will take us right into him." I turned left, and we still passed close enough that I could see the pilots in the windscreen. The controller then apologized and said that the military planes were not under his control. But I was shocked that I could be talking to a controller and still come so close to another plane. Had I not turned we would have passed very close; I think we were about 100' higher but basically on the same course line but in opposite directions. Far too close for comfort.
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chrisnh
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Tue May 19, 2015 4:12 pm

There was a Travis C-5M on Static during the air show this past weekend, which is a sign of things to come. The whole thing about KC-46s at Westover AND Pease points to the NEED (I believe) to have squadrons of them relatively near each other in the northeast. Having them at Pease and Westover is no different than having tankers at Pease and Bangor.

I do wish the organizers of the show had demonstrated the C-5B also at the end (after the Blues had landed). By having it fly only at the start, most people missed seeing the host bird of Westover do anything but sit there.

If I'm not mistaken, all eight of the Westover C-5Bs were on premises for the show.
 
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STT757
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Tue May 19, 2015 8:20 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
Wasn't Westover saved from closing because it was a choice between Plattsburg and Westover, and Westover would have been a much more expensive one to clean up?

I'm not sure when you're referring to, but it was the 1991 BRAC which decided to close Plattsburg (which it did in 1995). Plattsburg originally wasn't even on the BRAC list in 1991, McGuire AFB in New Jersey was. However it was argued successfully that keeping McGuire AFB open and closing Plattsburg made sense. One of the arguments was that for refueling McGuire AFB was preferable due to the fact that it is fed fuel directly by pipeline from nearby refineries. Plattsburg had it's jet fuel shipped by barge up from New Jersey, which became difficult during the Winter when the river freezes.

Also McGuire AFB being halfway between NYC and Philadelphia meant a huge pool of reservists, plus plenty of room for expansion with adjacent Fort Dix and Lakehurst NAES.
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Galaxy5007
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed May 20, 2015 3:10 am

Quoting chrisnh (Reply 14):
If I'm not mistaken, all eight of the Westover C-5Bs were on premises for the show.

Westover has 14 aircraft still assigned to them. 9 of them were on station during the show, two of which were on display. 7034 just so happened to be there finishing up an iso inspection, which was awesome for them to leave it on display. In the corner by the hanger and 7037, they had a TF-39 and CF6 engine sitting next to one another on trailers...that was a great display to see.

Westover had 5006 down at Seymour-Johnson AFB for their airshow as well. Westover is losing their next jet next week bringing their fleet to 13.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Fri May 22, 2015 2:41 pm

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 16):
they had a TF-39 and CF6 engine sitting next to one another on trailers...that was a great display to see.

Yes! I saw that! A very nice display to have!

I don't care what people say about the jets like the Raptor, the F/A-18s and the like. All impressive, yes, but I've always liked the C-5 for its majesty, its sound, its size.
 
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sturmovik
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Fri May 22, 2015 6:14 pm

Quoting chrisnh (Reply 14):
I do wish the organizers of the show had demonstrated the C-5B also at the end (after the Blues had landed). By having it fly only at the start, most people missed seeing the host bird of Westover do anything but sit there.

Oh man. I was there at the show but we couldn't get there in time to see the C-5 fly because of the insane traffic. Took us a couple hours to get to the airbase from the highway exit.  

I loved the airshow overall. Having only attended five editions of Aero India thus far, it took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that visitors are allowed INSIDE the aircraft. It was an almost religious experience, standing inside the C-5.
'What's it doing now?'
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Fri May 22, 2015 6:19 pm

Quoting sturmovik (Reply 18):
it took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that visitors are allowed INSIDE the aircraft. It was an almost religious experience, standing inside the C-5.

My friend, that is what we like to hear. Those assets are ones we paid for, and these bases and the military hierarchy recognize that they need to let people see, hear, smell, and touch these aircraft to the fullest extent permitted. We made those planes possible, through our tax dollars.

Yes, the crowds were big (I went both days, but only ventured onto the flightline on Day One), but that is because of pent-up demand: Air shows were cancelled last year due to squabbles over the arcane 'sequestration' issue. So we've been two years removed from air shows in New England!
 
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Revelation
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Sat May 23, 2015 1:28 am

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 19):
My friend, that is what we like to hear. Those assets are ones we paid for, and these bases and the military hierarchy recognize that they need to let people see, hear, smell, and touch these aircraft to the fullest extent permitted. We made those planes possible, through our tax dollars.

Agreed, and given sturmovic's flag we should thank India for spending tax dollars buying C-17s and P-8s too, they are getting some great kit.

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 19):

Yes, the crowds were big (I went both days, but only ventured onto the flightline on Day One), but that is because of pent-up demand: Air shows were cancelled last year due to squabbles over the arcane 'sequestration' issue. So we've been two years removed from air shows in New England!

I suppose I should have kept my ears to the ground because I had no idea the show was happening...
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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sturmovik
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Tue May 26, 2015 5:58 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
Agreed, and given sturmovic's flag we should thank India for spending tax dollars buying C-17s and P-8s too, they are getting some great kit.

Irony is, I probably won't get to see the insides of the IAF C-17s or C-130.. I'm glad I had the opportunity at Westover  
Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 19):
My friend, that is what we like to hear.

  
'What's it doing now?'
 
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dvincent
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:27 pm

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 19):
Yes, the crowds were big (I went both days, but only ventured onto the flightline on Day One), but that is because of pent-up demand: Air shows were cancelled last year due to squabbles over the arcane 'sequestration' issue. So we've been two years removed from air shows in New England!

Yup, the demand was high, because the many regions that had airshows over the past few years wound up going empty.

The Rhode Island airshow goes on every year (except for sequestration in 2013) and has been back in 2014 and 2015 with no trouble since.

The Pease airshow returned after a long absence in 2010, and went on in 2011 and 2012 until sequestration in 2013. 2014 was also cancelled because they could not secure a jet team, with 2016 their next target for a real show.

There is also the Brunswick air show in Maine, which has managed to make a comeback since NHZ's repurposing. After a three-year hiatus, it returned in 2011 and 2012, but lost its 2013 show due to sequestration, and could not secure an act in 2014. It will be back for a 2015 show.

The last Burlington, Vermont airshow in 2013 was also cancelled, and they won't be back until 2016. Until sequestration it was an annual event.

Generally, the Great New England Airshow alternates betweens BAF and CEF every two years (BAF 2006, CEF 2008, BAF 2010, CEF 2012). The airshow was planned for 2014 at BAF, but the runway closure and reconstruction forced the cancellation and rescheduling to 2015 at CEF. The last airshow before this year in western New England was 2012 at CEF.

So looking at the big picture, western NE was certainly starved. Between Rhode Island and Pease, the Boston metroplex was served well. Until a healthier schedule comes out, there will probably still be high demand.
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ECFlyer
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:55 pm

I'll reply to my own (somewhat) old thread:

Any news if a C-5M has arrived yet at Westover? I had a particularly sharp-looking Galaxy fly directly overhead of me today, low altitude, and it was very, very quiet. Nothing like the usual TF-39 whine.
 
T56A15
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:46 am

http://www.westover.afrc.af.mil/News...-to-fleet-departs-for-georgia.aspx
First C-5B left Westover Feb.10 to finish conversion to Super Galaxy. Will return summer of 17.
 
thegman
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:07 am

Quoting Ecflyer (Reply 23):

Any news if a C-5M has arrived yet at Westover? I had a particularly sharp-looking Galaxy fly directly overhead of me today, low altitude, and it was very, very quiet. Nothing like the usual TF-39 whine.

Could be from Dover...

Dover has a runway closure right now affecting C5 ops. Currently a few are staged at McGuire and I hear they are bussing the crews from Dover to McGuire. It could have been a Dover tail on a training mission or stopping at Westover for gas (if that's the case then it sure could have been a Travis tail as well.)
 
JohnM
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:10 pm

Westover does minor ISO inspections for the entire C-5 fleet, the major ISO is done at Dover. So any M that is due a minor inspection will visit Westover. Enjoy any TF-39 whine you may hear, since those days are numbered.
 
Flighty
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:11 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):

I have a personal memory of C-5's out of Westover. One day around 2000 I was flying with a friend in his Mooney 231 (a REALLY fun plane to fly; I was flying, and he was in the right seat) just to the west of Westover heading south. We had flight following from Bradley, and suddenly this huge plane appeared heading right for us, which turned out to be a C-5. I called Bradley and said, "Hey, we have traffic here." The controller said, "Uhhh, yes, turn right." I said "No way, I am turning left; right will take us right into him." I turned left, and we still passed close enough that I could see the pilots in the windscreen. The controller then apologized and said that the military planes were not under his control. But I was shocked that I could be talking to a controller and still come so close to another plane. Had I not turned we would have passed very close; I think we were about 100' higher but basically on the same course line but in opposite directions. Far too close for comfort.

That is horrifying!
 
ECFlyer
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:37 pm

Thanks all for the info on transient C-5Ms at Westover.

Interestingly, we have some property 110 miles north up the Connecticut River in Vermont, and will often see C-5s and C-17s getting refuled in flight (usually heading south- or southeast-bound) right over our land. With Westover so close, I would guess they are either A) training or B) refuling operational flights headed further into the continental U.S.
 
thegman
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:29 pm

Quoting Ecflyer (Reply 28):

Interestingly, we have some property 110 miles north up the Connecticut River in Vermont, and will often see C-5s and C-17s getting refuled in flight (usually heading south- or southeast-bound) right over our land. With Westover so close, I would guess they are either A) training or B) refuling operational flights headed further into the continental U.S.

99.9% are training I guarantee it. Operational air refueling for mobility assets is extremely rare. It is way cheaper to stop for gas in Gander or Bangor. I would bet you live under AR631, maybe AR205, but that runs Southwest. Anyways, that is most likely utilized by C5 from Westover and C17 from Stewart ANGB.

Also, I found out today that Dover is currently running their Formal Training Unit flights out of McGuire, meaning that they likely head up to Westover for patterns due to saturation at McGuire with the KC10 FTU and daily training lines from 4 KC10 squadrons and 2 C17 squads.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:31 pm

Westover is getting the last 5 C-5A's from Lackland rather than retiring them right away. These last 5 will keep Westover running through the 6-8 month gap during the M model conversion. Lackland has been flying training missions out of Travis and Lackland and are nearly done the full switch over to the M model training program. Their first jet will arrive in June. For now, they are borrowing jets from both Dover and Travis.

Dover's C-5M operations at FTU are at McGuire until August. They are replacing the runway intersection as part of the 01-19 replacement. The C-17 ops are staying here at Dover, as they are keeping 14-32 open, but only the north 6000' of it.

Plenty of room for all the locals to be done at McGuire.

As JohnM mentioned, Westover will continue to do the minor ISO's; one should have been flying around the other day as an A model is going in next.

Dover is continuing with the major ISO as scheduled. The runway is fine for C-5s coming in and out on light loads.

Westover inducts it's second C-5B to become an M mid month March.
 
thegman
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:14 pm

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 30):

Plenty of room for all the locals to be done at McGuire.

You might be in the know more than I, but from experience it can get hectic in the McGuire pattern between the KC10s and C17s, especially at night.
 
ECFlyer
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RE: Future Of C-5 At Westover

Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:39 pm

Quoting thegman (Reply 29):
I would bet you live under AR631, maybe AR205, but that runs Southwest.

You are absolutely correct, I mistyped. The refueling couplets are always headed Southwest.

Fascinating that some old A models will do a pre-retirement stint at Westover. I'll have to keep a sharp eye out.

Interesting too to hear about the activity at McGuire--my interest in transports comes from seeing Galaxies and Starlifters (my favorite) lumber off the Jersey Shore in the late '70s and early '80s. Very occasionally we'd see a turbojet B-52. I would head down there with my grandfather, who was a veteran USAAF officer (and spent much of WWII helping to develop Muroc).

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