Sunday, 22 February 2009

Boarding The Beast

Following on from yesterdays post, at the age of 18 having never flown before, boarding a C160 Hercules was an incredibly adventures experience and one that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Although it was standard practice in those days for the SA army to transport serviceman using these planes, in my case Id hitched a ride so other than the loadmaster crew of 3, that day I was alone in the back with the cargo that was being moved.

I boarded via the cargo flap and was instructed to sit on webbing type seats that were mounted to the side. The cargo that was in there included a Mercedes Bens, which I had been informed belonged a high ranking officer who had recently been transferred. It had been well and truly strapped to the floor along with several crates and boxes.

Sitting there was like being in the belly of whale and although the C130 does have a handful of porthole type windows, unless you walk up to one of them and literally put your face against it, you can’t see out. The Cockpit of the plane is in an elevated position at the front, so from the cargo area there is ladder mounting that the pilots use to get to where they need to be.

Once that flap is closed, you are strapped into your seat and those colossal engines roar to life, you are overcome with the sense that this is where the fun begins.

Photo:Lockheed Hercules C-130 by warrenski, courtesy of

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