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Old 08-08-2018, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,406 posts, read 2,835,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SluggoF16 View Post
The USAF did, and has largely replaced navigators as well.

A navigator just recently showed up at our monthly retiree dinner. He was non-retained at the beginning of the year. All of our aircraft now are no-navigator zones. Same with the flight engineers. It's all C-17s and C-130 J models. But we loadmasters still have a seat on the airplane. I figure pilots will be the next to go. But I still see a bright future for loadmasters!
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Old Yesterday, 06:27 AM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
14,080 posts, read 6,444,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
A navigator just recently showed up at our monthly retiree dinner. He was non-retained at the beginning of the year. All of our aircraft now are no-navigator zones. Same with the flight engineers. It's all C-17s and C-130 J models. But we loadmasters still have a seat on the airplane. I figure pilots will be the next to go. But I still see a bright future for loadmasters!

The position of "navigator" is now WSO, EWO, or O/DSO (offensive/defensive systems operator). The C-5 got rid of NAVs in the 1980s; I went to pilot training with two NAVs, one from DC-130s (drone carriers, not sure about the utility of having a NAV for that mission unless precise locations were required) and one ANG F-4 WSO. The older C-130s had that celestial dome which did double duty as a way for a spotter to look out for aggressor fighter aircraft. I have done low-altitude aggressor intercepts against C-130s with someone in the dome looking out for me, and it's surprising how hard it is to sneak up on a C-130 when another pair of eyes with 360-degree vision is looking out for the F-16.


Side note: The best way to down a C-130 wasn't with the AIM-120 AMRAAM... that's just not fair. AIM-9 Sidewinders had a hard time with the props dissipating the heat signature. Guns at low altitude were really difficult due to the fact that there was a whole lot of earth in the field of view, and there are serious training rules to prevent an aircraft-dirt exchange. No, the best way was to fly nearly head-on to the cargo aircraft and drop a string of three Mk-82s 500-lb bombs (simulated, of course) with CCIP about 1/4 of a mile ahead of the aircraft (six second time of fall, 250 feet per second for the C-130) and let the victim fly into the frag.
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Old Yesterday, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,406 posts, read 2,835,838 times
Reputation: 10682
Quote:
Originally Posted by SluggoF16 View Post
The position of "navigator" is now WSO, EWO, or O/DSO (offensive/defensive systems operator). The C-5 got rid of NAVs in the 1980s; I went to pilot training with two NAVs, one from DC-130s (drone carriers, not sure about the utility of having a NAV for that mission unless precise locations were required) and one ANG F-4 WSO. The older C-130s had that celestial dome which did double duty as a way for a spotter to look out for aggressor fighter aircraft. I have done low-altitude aggressor intercepts against C-130s with someone in the dome looking out for me, and it's surprising how hard it is to sneak up on a C-130 when another pair of eyes with 360-degree vision is looking out for the F-16.


Side note: The best way to down a C-130 wasn't with the AIM-120 AMRAAM... that's just not fair. AIM-9 Sidewinders had a hard time with the props dissipating the heat signature. Guns at low altitude were really difficult due to the fact that there was a whole lot of earth in the field of view, and there are serious training rules to prevent an aircraft-dirt exchange. No, the best way was to fly nearly head-on to the cargo aircraft and drop a string of three Mk-82s 500-lb bombs (simulated, of course) with CCIP about 1/4 of a mile ahead of the aircraft (six second time of fall, 250 feet per second for the C-130) and let the victim fly into the frag.

The C-130H had a sextant port, so the navigator could use the sextant with the escape hatch in place. The bubble was not used for celestial navigation. It was only used for observation purposes in a hostile environment, although we never used them in Afghanistan as there was no concern about enemy aircraft.
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Old Yesterday, 11:40 AM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
14,080 posts, read 6,444,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
The C-130H had a sextant port, so the navigator could use the sextant with the escape hatch in place. The bubble was not used for celestial navigation. It was only used for observation purposes in a hostile environment, although we never used them in Afghanistan as there was no concern about enemy aircraft.
That's good to know, I always assumed the bubble and sextant port were one and the same.
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Old Yesterday, 02:13 PM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
14,080 posts, read 6,444,801 times
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This not-too-politically-correct patch was given to those of us who provided the support to the AATTC school down at Fort Huachuca and flew against them in the MOAs of southern AZ. (The symbols are the Enhanced Envelope Gun Sight or EEGS on the center of the C-130.) It wasn't as easy as the patch makes it sound.

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Old Yesterday, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,406 posts, read 2,835,838 times
Reputation: 10682
Quote:
Originally Posted by SluggoF16 View Post
This not-too-politically-correct patch was given to those of us who provided the support to the AATTC school down at Fort Huachuca and flew against them in the MOAs of southern AZ. (The symbols are the Enhanced Envelope Gun Sight or EEGS on the center of the C-130.) It wasn't as easy as the patch makes it sound.

I just have the official patch from AATTC (Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center) and the been there, done that t-shirt. We never had a politically incorrect patch that I ever saw. Being in the bubble in the summer really sucked. The worst thing for the rest of the crew was the bubble boy puking his guts out. In the C-130 world we referred to AATTC training as puke school, although I never did.
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Old Today, 08:08 AM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
14,080 posts, read 6,444,801 times
Reputation: 6196
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I just have the official patch from AATTC (Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center) and the been there, done that t-shirt. We never had a politically incorrect patch that I ever saw. Being in the bubble in the summer really sucked. The worst thing for the rest of the crew was the bubble boy puking his guts out. In the C-130 world we referred to AATTC training as puke school, although I never did.
I had one mission where I heard the call "Brady, knock it off", followed by the explanation that they had too many people on the aircraft hurling their breakfast into little plastic bags. Mission incomplete.
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Old Today, 08:33 AM
 
17,240 posts, read 9,379,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SluggoF16 View Post
I had one mission where I heard the call "Brady, knock it off", followed by the explanation that they had too many people on the aircraft hurling their breakfast into little plastic bags. Mission incomplete.
Had a COPE THUNDER exercise in the Philippines in 87 or so, with Aussies participating: A Mirage squadron, an FB-111 squadron, and a C-130.

In one day, the scenario was that the C-130 (Blue Force) would drop a payload onto the dummy runway on our Crow Valley range while all the fighter aircraft in the exercise (the COPE THUNDER Red Force F-4 squadron, the Aussie Mirage squadron, and an F-16 squadron based in South Korea) were all Red and were hunting the C-130.

So there we are in our bunker on the Crow Valley range, expecting the C-130 at any moment.

We're looking. Nothing.

We're listening. Nothing.

Then we do hear it. But where is it?

We looked toward the mountain range on one side and see the tail of the aircraft moving along the mountain ridge like the fin of a shark above the waves.

In the next moment, the airplane shot up over the mountain ridge and swooped down into the valley, engines roaring.

Our Red ground forces on the range started popping off Styrofoam "GRAIL" rockets, while the C-130 was fishtailing like crazy--wings swinging nearly perfectly vertical, maybe 200 hundred feet off the ground, throwing chaff and flares everywhere.

We were in awe, going, "What the hell!"

Then the plane approached the mark on the dummy runway where it was supposed to drop its payload. It leveled off, the ramp opened, and I swear, the damned thing hovered for a moment--I swear it did! The loadmaster dropped the payload right on the spot.

Then the engines roared again, the plane shot away, fishtailing, throwing chaff and flares, until it disappeared again over the mountain ridge.

We were laughing and slapping our foreheads and going, "WTFO!"

At the debriefing that afternoon, none of the Red Forces for that scenario reported even seeing the C-130.

We had some US intel and ground crew aboard for the ride--they'd puked their guts out.

And we got some complaints from the mayor of O'Donnell about the plane scaring cows and schoolgirls.

The Aussie crew seemed inordinately pleased with themselves.
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