Hurtin' Hercs

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And wasn't the Air Force resistant to purchasing C-130Js?

Cracks Prompt AF-wide C-130 Inspection

Air Force officials issued an immediate inspection notice Thursday to C-130 units worldwide after Robins Air Force Base, Ga., technicians found upper wing joint nut cracks in an aircraft undergoing scheduled depot maintenance.

The directive, known in the Air Force as a "time compliance technical order," requires inspection and replacement of any cracked nuts before the next flight, said Roger Drinnon, a spokesman for Air Mobility Command. The command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the principal operator of the C-130 for the Air Force.

I seem to remember the Georgia delegation forcing C-130Js down the Air Force's throat a couple years back while the service wanted to concentrate its procurement money on F-22s and C-17s. Maybe it was a sneaky ploy to "save" money in its budget knowing full well lawmakers would put the money in anyway, but it sure seemed to reinforce the notion that the Air Force is prejudiced against low-tech/high yield solutions like the Hercules and the Warthog (Fighting Falcon too?)...

As anyone who's flown in the zone knows, the C-130 is by far the baddest assed plane out there. I can't tell you how many high mountain passes I've buzzed and godforsaken gravel pit runways in the middle of nowhere I've taken off from in one of those beasts and never, ever, once felt nervous about the plane's durability and safety.

What a great aircraft and I hope the Air Force recognizes the importance of the fleet and fixes the ones it's got and buys more.

-- Christian

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