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Into the Wild (B-52 rescues lost Cessna)

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While the Minot-based, seven-man crew B-52H Stratofortress, HAIL13, and their Barksdale wingman, HAIL14, were flying over Alaska, they received a call for help from the Anchorage Air Traffic Control Center. The whereabouts of a small Cessna plane had become unknown after its pilot became disoriented after flying into bad weather. (www.minot.af.mil) Mehr...

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WALLACE24
WALLACE24 14
One lucky Cessna driver and a "well done" to the A F guys. That's getting bang for the buck out of training time.
sparkie624
sparkie624 10
Hats off to the B-52... Great planes still finding new uses...
AZAFVET
Wayne Fox 3
This is one of the same airplanes 1039 that I worked on (ECM) 45 years ago. Still flying strong. Good job guys.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Goes to show you what a Good Boeing can do and Great Maintenance can keep going. Great job to both Boeing and the Airforce. I bet there won't be any Airbus 380's flying in 45 years that are flying today :)
oliton
oliton 2
Jesus. Are you for real?
sparkie624
sparkie624 5
As real as can be... Do you expect any Airbus of any kind that is flying to day to be flying in 45 years... No way. The quality is not there. They are not built to last. They are built for 10 years and park. 727 from 1963, still flying today in good numbers, even though not as much in the US. The A310 which came out in 1982 is almost in Mothballs. Fedex is parking all of theirs, and I do not know of any A310's flow by any Main US Carrier.

Boeing makes great planes... Airbus makes Buses.
MIKESWICK
MIKE SWICK 3
and after constant multi million dollar upgrades and sitting on the ramp most of their lives these airplanes should be still in use whereas commercial aircraft probably get more cycles in one year than these big boys get in ten
oliton
oliton 3
Sorry. I wasn't referring to the sturdiness and awesome achievement the B52 airframes represent (45 years and counting) but merely to the fact that you HAD to bash another manufacturer... Why even bringing it up? I really don't see the point. Airbus wasn't around 45 years ago. Peace, man.
augerin
Dave Mathes 1
...well played, oliton
honzanl
honza nl -1
ah yes, all airlines who order thousands of Airbusses of course know nothing about that. Already applied for a CEO-post at an airline? They must welcome such talented people

[This poster has been suspended.]

MIKESWICK
MIKE SWICK 1
not sure if based on cost as much as on politics American carrier wants to fly into Europe probably ought to buy a few air busses same way with European carriers- when Boeing builds aircraft their suppliers are from all over the world I work at a aircraft plant in Korea and they build parts for both Boeing and Airbus spread the wealth
vicktor
Victor Bucci -4
Well, the old, Concord was British and French shared, but it was literllay 65% American engineering built. Those countres for instance knew nothing about titanium technlogy, it literlaly was an experiemnst for the U.S. to test out the B-1.
dg1941
dg1941 1
And how much technology was "borrowed" by America from Europe?
vicktor
Victor Bucci 1
Damien,

I guess all sharing the worlds advancements, medicines, technology, discoveries is what makes the world do round. Good thing man shares..
vicktor
Victor Bucci 1
Yes, sure, could be, maybe that's where the other 35% was from<?>.
ywinston1
Charles Yonge 2
This is less than half of the story. Great job B52 crew for being compliant with the atc controller.

The real story is this: the Cessna was a vfr pilot who got into bad wx and lost contact with flight service. Flight service informed atc that there was a 7700 squawk but they lost contact.
A "never say die" atc controller took the ball and brain stormed a way to get in contact with the Cessna. The only plane in sector was this b52 crew, an the atc controller contacted the b52 and through the b52 gave instructions to the Cessna 172 pilot to guide him to the nearest airport to land as he had no gps onboard.
wbg2010
Merry Xmas!
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 1
BZ to both crews for being able to help and still carry out their mission on time.
toolguy105
toolguy105 1
I know the 69th from when I was stationed with them back in the late sixties. They were agreat bunch back then and I was proud to play a small part in keeping the planes flying. Glad to see they are still as sharp as ever.. On target, on time, all the time.
ybastien
Yves Bastien 1
Good news story. The text of the official AirForce release was a little Rah Rah. "After ensuring that their mission wouldn't be compromised" they went to look for the Cessna. I'd say that unless the crews were on a "special" mission that any training mission they were on just got changed to SAR.
yntzrm
God Bless the Hail 13 and 14, true angles of the sky.
CVN70
Richard Weil 1
Good show, guys. Anyone out there who served in SAC Travis 1963-4? Col Robert Smith commander.
sno4us2
Brad Ward 1
What happened to aerial refueling? Why would fuel range be a problem? Doesn't the Air Force still have tankers? And why not burn extra pounds of fuel to save a life? Air Force One doesn't seem to worry about how much fuel they are burning!
lbfromlv
Larry Braxton 2
In some minds today, we must always take a shot at President Obama. Sad world we live in. Good work SAC.
dg1941
dg1941 1
It's not whether aerial refueling is available, but whether it's practical. These are eight-engined, 222 tonne bombers. Is it economical to refuel them without a dire need. If it were arranged, that would be a different story, but to scramble a tanker is somewhat of a complexity, not to mention a cost.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
If a tanker could be scrambled, surely a more practical aircraft could be scrambled. As I read the article, neither were likely to have been practical.
MIKESWICK
MIKE SWICK 1
yes and why not divert into one of the two big bases for gas if needed
CVN70
Richard Weil 1
You seem quite knowledgeable (hat's off) and wondered if you are still involved in that field. I was in headquarters duty at 69th in '64.
murray07
Murray Wilson 1
I wish there were more stories like this. That Cessna driver must have thought he was already dead and on the other side when he heard, "B-52's above your position..."
boeller731
Pete Boeller 1
Some of the best air crews in the Air Force flying out of Minot AFB. Pretty harsh conditions to launch & recover in. Spent 4 years there with the 5th FIS. Great stuff to read about!
Marito57
Marito57 1
Is nice when a Big brother help´s a small one nice job B52 guys
gftt
gftt 1
How cool is that?
It's nice to know that if needed the big guns will come to the rescue.
Thank you USAF and Thank you ATC.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
This is the second article I read today explaining that the airport was able to turn up the lights to assist a plane in landing. Can someone expound on this? Are airport lights generally run at half power and only turned up in case of emergency? Is this normal? I've not heard of such a thing before. Now two articles the same day.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Lights at most airports have different intensities. When turned up they are sometimes way too bright during good weather. These high settings are usually only used during bad weather to shine thru fog, rain, or snow but would otherwise be blinding to the pilot.
plk304
Poloko Nyambe 1
Good work the bombers. Around 19996 a Cessna 310 got lost between airports FBSK and FBMN. An SAR launched included a C130B, After searching intensively on probable areas in the swampy Makgadikgadi Pans without a trace, the Herc crew extended the search the next morning, crossing the road NATA-MAUN. They spotted the Cessna and called a Bell 412 rescue. No fatalities, but all four seriously injured. A month later the funeral parlour company through a party in honour of the rescue team. It looks like biggies make better searchers!
elmo14226
Fred Smith 1
The article states:

" One hundred miles into their detour, HAIL13 was able to locate and make contact with the pilot. He was flying low to the ground through a valley surrounded by rugged Alaska terrain.

"Because we were so high up, we were able to relay messages between him and ATC," explained Middendorf. "


If the Cessna was low and the B52 was high, how was it able to locate the Cessna in bad weather? Probably not visually, did they use radar or some other electronics?
Phillydog1
Phil Wasden 0
A righteous diversion; Well done HAIL 13 and 14 crews!

Phil Wasden
Grand Forks AFB 1958-1961

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