C-130J recovery, and a blast from the past

Recently-posted images which show salvage activities performed after a landing mishap involving a US Air Force C-130J tactical transport in Afghanistan sent me searching YouTube for footage of a slightly different approach once taken by the UK military with one of its combat-damaged examples.

In the case of the USAF aircraft, a recovery team was able to remove 250 components with a combined value of more than $20 million, the service says. The aircraft had been extensively modified during a mishap at forward operating base Shank, in Logar province, in early June.


Clearly, conditions on the ground were more favourable than when Royal Air Force C-130J ZH876 suffered major damage when an improvised explosive device exploded as it landed at a rough strip in Iraq’s Maysan province in February 2007. Worth around £45 million ($72 million), it was put out of its misery after the location was deemed too dangerous for a salvage activity to be performed. If you haven’t seen this clip before, Flight International‘s  classic terminology for a mention in the magazine’s Straight & Level section might well have been: “A bit heavy on the explosives, Hoskins”.

Incidentally, the recent USAF excursion wasn’t the first time that such an incident had happened at FOB Shank. In January 2012, a C-17 crew ran up a roughly $70 million repair bill, after they “failed to identify that the landing distance required to stop the aircraft exceeded the runway length.”

4 Responses to C-130J recovery, and a blast from the past

  1. Amicus Curiae 5 October, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Crunch all you want. We’ll make more.

  2. Martin 8 October, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    “You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!” Michael Caine, Italian Job (1969)

  3. Ron 8 October, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    The UK C-130 was destroyed by laser guided bombs dropped by Tornados. That was not an option on a active US air base.

    • Craig Hoyle 9 October, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      I thought it was explosives planted by ground forces? You don’t see any bombs going in on the video clip, and you also hear someone shouting “clear”.

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