Support: February 10, 2004


On January 9th, a U.S. Air Force C-5A transport was hit by ground fire while taking off from Baghdad airport. One engine had to be shut down, and the aircraft landed on the other three. The air force had to get the C-5A repaired and out of there. The 3.6 ton, 27 foot long engine was damaged, as was the pylon attaching it to the wing. Both would have to be replaced, and some other minor repairs made to the wing. The air force was prepared for that sort of thing, as the C-5A frequently flies into airports with limited, or no, repair facilities. On January 10th, a 13 man repair crew was flown in, along with a new engine, pylon and special tools. The repairs took ten days, and the C-5A was able to fly back to the United States on Jan 20th for further repairs. This was the first time a C-5A received battle damage since 1975, when one was shot down while evacuating a planeload of Vietnamese orphans and medical personnel from Saigon. Since then, there have been cases of C-5As getting stranded in out of the way places because something broke. In cases like that, the repair crew and the parts are flown in and the aircraft is fixed on the spot. 




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