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Thread: C130 too close and no radio contact

  1. #1

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    C130 too close and no radio contact

    I just had a C130 fly by me maybe 1/2 mile away or so and lower than I was. I was at pattern altitude of 3,500 just a 1/2 to a mile north of THM. Narrow valley, Sunday local traffic and when I called and said "don't you think you ought to be talking on 122.9 when you fly that low and probably over THM; no reply. I don't think they monitor 122.9, our local frequency, and not only monitor but tell us what they are doing when they are in our narrow valley. I also have heard they don't have IN/OUT. It's an accident waiting to happen. I don't mind our "boys" doing some low level training but they have to do it SAFELY. This wasn't safe. The internet said a C130 cruises at 210-250 low altitude. The way they are doing this they are going to run over someone! Anything I can do? Like call someone or follow them to where they land (follow them real close and no body will even know you're there) and confront them or get into a dog fight or?
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    No radio required in that airspace, so I guess you did the right thing looking out the window. I wouldn't engage if it were me.

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    The Kid and I have a legitimate complaint with these C130s. They come through our narrow river valley at low level and donít monitor the CTAF or make any position reports. In October I was in the parking lot of a local store when one came directly over town at what I estimated was 200í. He was not much higher than his wingspan. Iíve seen them roar right over our airport at less than pattern altitude. I cringed the last time I saw one do that because there was an RV from out of the area doing multiple touch and goes at our airport. And this C130 plowed right through the pattern.

    Along with themselves theyíre going to kill some innocent private pilot like us.

    Iím all for military training but this is not an MOA. And these guys are not safe.

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    I found this picture I took in July. This guy is maybe 500í higher than I am. Iím just above the river in a field, same elevation as the airport, which is about 2.5 miles directly in front of him. This is common for these around here.
    Last edited by spinner2; 01-10-2021 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Added pic
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinner2 View Post
    The Kid and I have a legitimate complaint with these C130s. They come through our narrow river valley at low level and don’t monitor the CTAF or make any position reports. In October I was in the parking lot of a local store when one came directly over town at what I estimated was 200’. He was not much higher than his wingspan. I’ve seen them roar right over our airport at less than pattern altitude. I cringed the last time I saw one do that because there was an RV from out of the area doing multiple touch and goes at our airport. And this C130 plowed right through the pattern.

    Along with themselves they’re going to kill some innocent private pilot like us.

    I’m all for military training but this is not an MOA. And these guys are not safe.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I found this picture I took in July. This guy is maybe 500’ higher than I am. I’m just above the river in a field, same elevation as the airport, which is about 2.5 miles directly in front of him. This is common for these around here.
    Dan,

    Thats a C-17, not a 130. So not a local guard plane. Nearest base operating C-17 is McChord. Call them: (253) 982-1110

    seriously, they need feedback. It’s the way this stuff gets stopped. Give them time and place. May not go anywhere, but somebody will likely get an ass chewing. And should.

    MTV
    Last edited by mvivion; 01-10-2021 at 08:27 PM.
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    spinner2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Dan,

    Thats a C-17, not a 130. So not a local. Out of Fairchild maybe?

    MTV
    Mike, we get both. I donít know where theyíre from but Fairchild is likely.

    This afternoon my wife and I were out at our cabin when I heard one go right over us. I went outside and looked downriver and there was the C130 headed towards THM at low level. I texted the Kid that one was coming and thatís what prompted this thread.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp
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    Common in the Mat-Su area. At least now they only fly in pairs instead of flights of 5 and 6.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinner2 View Post
    Mike, we get both. I don’t know where they’re from but Fairchild is likely.

    This afternoon my wife and I were out at our cabin when I heard one go right over us. I went outside and looked downriver and there was the C130 headed towards THM at low level. I texted the Kid that one was coming and that’s what prompted this thread.
    Dan,

    Call the Air Force. You’re right, if they blow through traffic patterns, sooner or later, they’ll kill someone. And that won’t be pretty for them either.

    MTV

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    I've had a pair of A-10's rip below me going down river on the upper Susitna setting up to land so I was around 1,000 feet. Another time crossing the Skweetna River at 1,500' AGL and saw the shadow and found the Herc BELOW me. Shell Hills by my cabin on Hewitt Lake also by Skwentna is about 1,000' above the valley floor and have seen a C-17 go cruising below the height of its crest. The wart hogs gave me the biggest scare but all are concerning mixing little planes with heavy metal.
    Last edited by Litecub; 01-11-2021 at 02:23 AM.

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    We see coast guard as well as national guard flying through Port of Valdez as well as practicing takeoff and landings at Valdez Pioneer Airfield...they are always communicating, respectful and a joy to talk to and watch! Very safe from my perspective here in Valdez!

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    Concur with Litecub, Almost ran over by A-10s in the Chickaloon Rvr. Valley, same direction of flight overtaking. Another time it was two C-130s low level over me as I took off from my strip near Canyon Cr., Skwentna Rvr. I was on 122.8 and announced my departure and no mention from the Hercs.

  11. #11
    sharp's Avatar
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    I have had them proactively contact me on 122.9 while I was practicing at Goosebay. They made initial contact and announced they had me on radar and would be passing over. They were not that close. Sometimes I hear them on 122.8 announcing they are coming down the Susitna. These are not the norm. But it is a bit nice they are looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharp View Post
    I have had them proactively contact me on 122.9 while I was practicing at Goosebay. They made initial contact and announced they had me on radar and would be passing over. They were not that close. Sometimes I hear them on 122.8 announcing they are coming down the Susitna. These are not the norm. But it is a bit nice they are looking.
    Perhaps those pilots also fly small planes so know the procedures which the small plane pilots use? Often time pilots who only fly in just one form of aviation know nothing of what the other side does. This applies to Military pilots, Airline pilots, Small general aviation pilots, Big general aviation pilots, Helicopter pilots and Bush pilots. They each fly in their own little world knowing little about the "other" guys. Pilots who fly more than one type of aviation are more informed.

    As Mike said, call the nearest military facility for starters. They will either carry the ball or tell you who else to call.

    Once upon a time I was flying near, but outside and well above a traffic pattern of an uncontrolled general aviation 4000 foot airport on a CAVU day. I watched a Navajo taking off, climbing out, heading right at me. I had to alter course to avoid being hit. I recognized the plane so that the next time I saw the pilot, I spoke to him. He never saw me, telling me I should not have been in "his" way. Clearly he was not looking out the window.
    No more soap box today.
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    When you are 3000' feet or below, AGL, and in the vicinity of an airport you absolutely should be required to be on the airport frequency and announce where you are and what you are doing. Same with landing at a non towered field but it isn't required to even have a radio. CRAZY, CRAZY unsafe.
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    Sounds like someone got spooked when they finally looked out the window.

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    I would hope that with the cost of a C-130, there might be a black box in there that shows the crew traffic long before GA eyeballs see them. At least when they fly around in this country they can be pretty sure the traffic isn't trying to kill them.

  16. #16
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    Yes, it’s important to understand that military aircraft are absolutely legal to be stooging around out in Class G airspace, as long as they stay below 250 knots.

    BUT, when and if they operate low level close to an airport, they Should be at least monitoring, but preferably communicating on the appropriate frequency.

    Ive politely followed up on a couple of these deals and have been treated with respect and provided information.

    The point here is that this kind of thing, as Pete said, generally isn’t done intentionally, more often it’s done because of ignorance. A phone call and discussion with command on one of these deals isn’t going to get anyone grounded, but it might provide a wake up call, both to the pilot(s) and to their command.

    MTV
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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    We have an Air guard base 30 miles East of me and right in the middle of where we all play some days. Been that way for a long time. Some of our members here are "Ski130" guys. We see them all the time around Upstate NY. Now we have one of the largest Military Drone testing bases 40 miles West who also fly around where we play. Big life size aircraft, fixed and rotor. I talked to one of the Drone commanders 2 years ago and they don't have any radar coverage. Look hard my friends

    Glenn
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  18. #18

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    The Matanuska-Susitna-Yentna valleys have hundreds of small strips, most uncharted. The C-130 presence was something we got used to a long time ago. They were easy to see. These days seeing C-17s is more common. They don't fly the same way the 130s did so conflicts are rare. I still watch for wake turbulence, though.

    See and be seen. Most of the Cubs around here are lit up well with recognition lights. Help them see you!
    Last edited by stewartb; 01-11-2021 at 09:19 AM.

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    30 yrs ago I was landing my J3 at a non towered airport (I had no Radio), I followed procedures, entered the pattern, and landed into the wind.....suddenly I look ahead and see an American Eagle Commuter on final downwind coming right at me. I swerved off the runway.....took out a runway light and powered trough a ditch to get out of the way. The commuter pilot finally saw me and went around just at flare. He came storming over to the FBO I was at and began screaming at me...I was a young Private Pilot and had done nothing wrong, but he threatened to "Have my license" ....the Geezer FBO operator went over to this guy and told him how he had watched the whole thing and the only one not following the rules had been him. I was in the right....no radio required, and I followed safe piloting procedures, He backed down and left.....The geezer patted my back and winked. I'm not saying it wouldn't be safer if everybody used a radio, and I'm not saying these guy's in the Military heavies out by you are following FARs.....just saying that we must follow the rules, and stay alert at all times....never count on the radio, sometimes it could either be on the wrong freq (mistakenly), or they just don't have it on. Still, a phone call to the base can't hurt....I just think your statement about crazy unsafe with no radio in uncontrolled airspace is not entirely accurate. Maybe they will change the FAR someday...who knows. Until then, stay safe and be alert.
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    If your only avenue to fix this is by complaining to the internet, I would argue that you arent doing enough. Like most things in life, a simple conversation will fix almost all of the conflict and hurt feelings. Just because they are military doesnt mean that they are unapproachable


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
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    About 40 years ago I was mixing it up with B-52's for 10 days while doing a National Geographic shoot at a wildlife preserve right next to their training base, while flying an ultralight near Jamestown ND., that pretty much tops anything I've heard here. No one ever got out of their area so it was all good, but several times I was eyeball to eyeball with them, same altitude, and even at a distance it was a sobering sight, the good thing was they were easy to spot.
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    Mid 80's I was southbound over the Conn river between Westover AFB and Westfield airport, both are military bases. I was in my C150 about 2000 or 2500' in contact with Westfield. It was common for me to loosen my seatbelt and sit centered in the plane so it would fly hands off on X counrty flights. I would just lean a little when corrections were needed. I then saw two C130s appear as they crossed under me on approach to Westover, I look over my shoulder and a line of them were following. I click the mic and ask Westfield, they acknowledged they had me in sight and there was no conflict. Kind of interesting.

    Around that time I was relaxing in a canoe with a lady friend, Sept or so in central VT, this was just north of Ludlow VT along Rt 100. From the North an A10 appears at tree tops and drops down to the water, seeing us pulled up hard, the second of the two went knife edge and passed by next to us waving. That was a treat.

    This summer an MOA south of me goes live, the F-15s will be playing again, hard deck is barely 7K over us. This should be fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    About 40 years ago I was mixing it up with B-52's for 10 days while doing a National Geographic shoot at a wildlife preserve right next to their training base, while flying an ultralight near Jamestown ND., that pretty much tops anything I've heard here. No one ever got out of their area so it was all good, but several times I was eyeball to eyeball with them, same altitude, and even at a distance it was a sobering sight, the good thing was they were easy to spot.
    I bet you weren't
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    Ha, I love it! I was a student Pilot flying out a grass strip here in The U.P. of Michigan....it was less than 20 Mike’s from KI Sawyer AFB....numerous times I had the windshield filled with B52...scared the bejeezus out of me a few times��

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    I've been dodging the military aircraft for over 40 years all over Alaska, all kinds - fighters, tankers, transports, helicopters. Too many scary stories for now. One day I was complaining about the latest encounter and this old timer remarked "they ain't hit anybody yet." I don't know if that is true, but you certainly can't say that about civilians......

    I will say my scariest encounters have been from two types: flightseeing air taxis in CAVU weather (4), and fishing lodge floatplanes in SVFR conditions (2).

    Be careful out there....
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    Summer before last I was flying out near Meadow Creek (0S1) and a C-130 comes up on 122.9 announcing they were over Meadow Creek. So I came up on the radio and said I was in the area looking for traffic, and started looking around intently figuring I’d be able to find that big of a plane pretty easily, but didn’t. I kept going up toward Spotted Bear (8U4) when I see the C-130 heading toward Meadow Creek both of us were in the canyon below ridge tops fairly close. I announce to him that I had him in sight and that he had to have been over Spotted Bear when he had said Meadow Creek. He came back completely graciously and said that he had me in sight and that I was right and apologized, we both said to enjoy your flight. He must have at least had a paper chart and been on frequency, but not using Garmin Pilot. ��

  27. #27
    kase's Avatar
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    C130's are probably out of Great Falls. Heard they do the same thing at Lincoln.

    https://www.120thairliftwing.ang.af.mil/Contact-Us/
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    Couple of years flying my Rans S7 north from alb to Longmont I had flight following. Approaching Col springs I was advised to turn right 25 deg as a C130 was south bound same altitude at my 12 o'clock. More recently flying low level
    above the Rio Puerco west of Alb ( maybe 2-300 ft AGL) and eastbound all of a sudden out of nowhere and not on my ADSB traffic an Osprey pass directly overhead north bound at low level. Scared the crap out of me but I didn't feel any down wash from his props and figured that because he was in level flight his wash was more straight back then down at that point until I passed under him.

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    In Homer AK C-130 from the Guard and Coast Guard occassionally shoot touch and goes. My experience has been the pilots monitor/announce their positions and are communicative with local traffic. C17's used to use our field, but one or two local complainers ("too loud") drove them off.

    On a related topic I foolishly hit C-130 wake turbulence on takeoff while I was at 250 ft. It turned me perpendicular to the ground in an eyeblink but thankfully stopped rolling me so I recovered with no damage except to my ego! I acquired more "experience" in my judgement and skills. And also note pattern altitude of large jets/aircraft is NOT the same as for us- I believe it is stated at 1500' AGL rather than 800-1000' for us little guys.

  30. #30
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    One of the coolest and scariest was when I was heading home into a setting sun with a bug obscured dirty windshield at about 1200' 15 miles west of Schenectady airport and something got my attention at 11 o'clock to my left.and instantly a B17 went screaming by in the opposite direction. Maybe 2-300' away. I could see plane as day both pilots and I heard the engines before I saw it. Learned later that it landed at Schenectady that same evening

    Glenn
    Last edited by cubdriver2; 01-11-2021 at 04:38 PM.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercub9675 View Post
    On a related topic I foolishly hit C-130 wake turbulence on takeoff while I was at 250 ft. It turned me perpendicular to the ground in an eyeblink but thankfully stopped rolling me so I recovered with no damage except to my ego! I acquired more "experience" in my judgement and skills.
    I had that same thing happen (following a 90hp CHAMP of all things!) many years ago. Zilcho' control and staring at the ground from 200 feet! A bit shocked by the power of a Champ wake (good grief) but ever since have been way aware of where I'm positioned when following somebody.

  32. #32

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    Cessna 150 in cruise and the wake of an F-15 doing a very hard high-power turn right in front of me. He used me like a pylon. Cool view of an F-15, though.

    I have two friends who've bent wing spars from hitting wake turbulence from military airplanes crossing overhead of the Lake Hood approach. I've taken what I thought were hard hits with no damage so I can't imagine how hard a hit it takes to bend spars. One common factor is they both had WingX extensions. I think about that with the big wings on my Cub. I give those crossing heavies a very wide margin.
    Last edited by stewartb; 01-11-2021 at 06:02 PM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Cessna 150 in cruise and the wake of an F-15 doing a very hard high-power turn right in front of me. He used me like a pylon. Cool view of an F-15, though.

    I have two friends who've bent wing spars from hitting wake turbulence from military airplanes crossing overhead of the Lake Hood approach. I've taken what I thought were hard hits with no damage so I can't imagine how hard a hit it takes to bend spars. One common factor is they both had WingX extensions. I think about that with the big wings on my Cub. I give those crossing heavies a very wide margin.
    I had almost the same thing happen to me on the Lake Hood approach several years ago. The wake turbulence from an overhead F-15 was violent enough to bounce my head off the overhead x brace. The bump was hard enough that I saw stars and almost got knocked out. Fortunately I had another pilot in the back seat able to take over. I bought a helmet the next day and wore it on every subsequent flight.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randyk View Post
    I will say my scariest encounters have been from two types: flightseeing air taxis in CAVU weather (4), and fishing lodge floatplanes in SVFR conditions (2).
    ^^^^^^^^This!^^^^^^^^

    Besides the usual military aircraft viewing in the MatSu Valley itís always special to meet head on or be overtaken by a DC-6 in Lake Clark Pass. Usually the guys are on the radio and good about giving exact locations.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kase View Post
    C130's are probably out of Great Falls. Heard they do the same thing at Lincoln.

    https://www.120thairliftwing.ang.af.mil/Contact-Us/
    And some of the pilots there are fine upstanding members here!

    sj
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    ------------------------------------------

  36. #36

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    Watch for C130’s between the ridges in Arkansas, I’ve met two in those confines but have always been able to reach them on Guard.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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  37. #37
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    You guys are reminding me of too many long forgotten memories.
    N1PA
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  38. #38

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    25 years ago, flying low level up Wolverine Creek, the drainage that defines the NW side of Mt Susitna. In a Hawk XP so not clawing uphill but not gobs of power to spare, round over a rolling ridge and we see 5 or 6 C-130s at the same altitude over the same drainage heading right toward us. The exhaust plume is what we see and there's no way initially to know how many planes were coming but flights of 5 or 6 was SOP back then. If you're not sure if you believe in God that moment may help you figure it out. We never knew if the lead plane saw us but they favored the NW and we slid to the SE until we could get out of the drainage and away from the wake of multiple airplanes.

    I've had a similar encounter with a DC-6 in Lake Clark Pass. I never expected to see him where I did, way down low on a blue bird day. If not for the shadow I may never have seen him and he never talked on the radio. It wasn't a close call as much very high startle factor. That wasn't the first lesson I learned that day, either. I do miss winter same-day fly and shoot Mulchatna Caribou.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVATIVAK71 View Post
    ^^^^^^^^This!^^^^^^^^

    Besides the usual military aircraft viewing in the MatSu Valley it’s always special to meet head on or be overtaken by a DC-6 in Lake Clark Pass. Usually the guys are on the radio and good about giving exact locations.
    Yeah, it turns out that a DC-6 up close in your windshield (in his rear view mirror in my case) is pretty interesting....Windy Pass.

    MTV

  40. #40
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    Squeaking low over the pass into the Copper Basin ID strip a few years ago, coming from Antelope to the east, about 5 minutes after I landed 2 F-15's came in the same way, did a circuit of the Basin, probably pulling G's the entire time as their speed made then stay banked up, and then they climbed up and out and were aimed back towards Mountain Home. I had to admire their taste in scenery, as I had also just made the circuit around the Basin before landing, I'm just glad our timing was a bit different.

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