NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The C-17 aircraft reached a historic major milestone on Friday – it was commemorated with a flight high above Charleston.
Airmen and women at Joint Base Charleston celebrated the four millionth hour of flight time for the C-17 aircraft.
Dignitaries had an opportunity to watch the crew in action during Friday’s flight.
They refuel the aircraft midair from a KC-46 tanker plane. That is basically a modified Boeing 767 aircraft.
“It was incredible to watch the refueling up close from the cockpit, but then we also had a chance to watch another C-17 refuel in the air about 2 miles away from us,” said News 2’s Raymond Owens, who was onboard the flight Friday. “They were planning to drop a load on a target to demonstrate how the aircraft moves things around the world, even without stopping.”
Weather caused the crew to decide against dropping the load during this demonstration flight.
The Commander of the 437th Airlift Wing is responsible for 40 of these planes. He flew part of Friday’s mission.
“As a pilot, I tell you it’s a dream. I jokingly say the C-17 is like the escalator in the Air Force; it is the Cadillac. It’s a big aircraft they can carry up to 170,000 pounds of cargo but is nimble enough to do what we need in a tactical environment,” said Col. Jaron Roux, Commander, 437th Airlift Wing.
Four million hours of flight for the C-17 now in the books. Officials at Joint Base Charleston say they are looking forward to millions of hours of flight in the future.