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Guest Aidi

OT : C130 ground extraction technique

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Sorry for this off topic question but just maybe someone will know the answer or where I can find more info.My father saw a TV program back in the 70's of an interesting airborne, fly-by, personnel extraction technique used in Vietnam.An aircraft (I think it was a C130) would fly over someone on the ground with a cable and hook lowered from the ramp.The person on the ground would be wearing a harness and some form of a wire loop. The cable and hook in the C130 would snag the guy on the ground and whip him out of sight! Then the crew in the C130 would reel the guy in.I am pretty sure that the cable was stretchy like bungee cord. :DI'm trying to find some official info on this technique.Where/when is was used and the exact details.ThanksPaul

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Hi Paul,What you're talking about is the Fulton recovery system. There's a lot of info on the web if you do a search on 'fulton recovery system', etc.. That's about all I can suggest without going totally off topic on this forum.Cheers,JohnBoeing 727/737 Mechanic

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Thanks John!That was exactly what I was looking for. :DNow I just have to get my hands on the movies Thunderbird (James Bond 1965) and The Green Berets (1968) which have actual footage of the Fulton system in use.Paul

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I actually saw this extraction method demonstrated back in the early 90's at an airshow. To say it was beyond belief is a bit of an understatement.As i recall, the guy was in what can only be discribed as a "teddy bear" suit! Must have been extremely well insulated to protect against the elements.The small balloon was released and the cable had various tags on it... i persume so the aircraft had some sort of aiming point. It was a C130 which was going to do the extraction, and it soon came into sight above the showline. The first attempt the pilot made severed the cable, but the extraction of the guy on the harness failed as he was left on the ground. They raised another balloon and the C130 made another pass. This time the cable was snagged and the guy took off like a bullet into the sky being trailed out behind the aircraft. The commentater then proceded to explain how the guy was then pulled into the aircraft. Thinking the display was over, and being the last event of the day, most started to make their way out of the showground. About 20 mins had since passed and a C130 could be heard approaching the airfield again.. Much to everyones amazement the guy who had been extracted was still trailing behind the aircraft! The commentator came ont he PA again and explained that there was a technical hitch with the winching system and they were unable to recover the guy!This went on for 3 or 4 more passes before they finally managed to get the winch system working. Sounds almost unbelievable, but hand on heart its a true story that I saw with my own eyes. Bet the guy in question was glad he was wearing the "Teddy Bear" suit!Hope you enjoyed my small recollection RgdsAidihttp://www.vfr-flightcenter.com/avsim_sig.jpg

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