Airplane Day

By January 10, 2005 airplanes/airports

Today I went to two airports and I boarded two planes, but I never left Norfolk.

Tonight, I went out to the Naval base to volunteer for the USO (I got on the base with my new “special guest pass”) at the AMC Air Terminal. We took a bunch of pizzas onto a huge, huge plane that was about to take off for Iraq and got to wave and say “Have a nice flight!” to all the Air Force guys on it.

We had a bunch of leftover pizzas, so we offered them to some guys in flight suits and they offered us a tour of their C-5. So, we got to watch the huge jet taxi away and then we took a van out to the flight line and boarded this enormous plane and got a tour of the whole thing.

I now know a bunch of random facts about C-5 aircraft — for instance, the C-5 has more useless, dead space (just below the tail) than the C-17 has in cargo space. Also, a fully loaded C-141 weighs less than the total weight of the C-5’s full tank of gas (a fully fueled C-5 would contain enough gas to fuel 800 automobiles for one year). The thing has like, a 222-foot wingspan. It was absolutely fascinating.

I got to board a C-5 at the air show in September, but this was totally exciting because I got to climb up the ladders into the cockpit and into the troop compartment over the back of the plane. The co-pilot showed us all of the emergency exits and explained to us how they are able to drop 200,000-pound loads out the back of the plane. Craziness. Volunteering is awesome.

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