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Off Limits: Hercules

Running Video Description Time Code 00:02 Zout from nose of Hercules Narration Cold Open: Theres only a selected few people that get through this course but the fact of life is, not everybody will because they dont have what it takes. If we dont think theyre going to cut it then its basically a hard fail at that point. (ALARM) Abort! Abort! Potentially, if I screw up, I could put an aircraft in the dirt. As you get to the money shot when the load actually exits the aircraft, thats the culmination of everything.

00:36 00:58

OFF LIMITS Packaged Opening Herc taking off Key: Military Aircraft Training / CC-130 Hercules Transport Aircraft / CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canada

Herc at low altitude flyby Cockpit of low altitude flyby

VO 1.1: Narrator: This military aircraft is obviously not a fighter jet. Its not a tactical bomber either, but despite its lack of firepower, the CC-130 Hercules is one the most important aircraft in the Air Force. This four-engine, fixed-wing aircraft is capable of short take-offs and landings on virtually any kind of terrain in any kind of weather. Its maneuverable and cruises at 345mph. But most importantly this workhorse carries tens of thousands of pounds of combat troops, vehicles, food, fuel, and ammunition. Since January 2002, The Hercules has been a vital lifeline for NATO troops based in Afghanistan. These Canadian Air Force crafts and their crew are known as truckers in the sky. They have delivered thousands of passengers and millions of pounds of crucial supplies to the heart of warzones. Flight crews operating these Tactical Airlifters in a military theatre need the right

stuff. Streaking through hot spots at 150 feet off the treetops with no armament means you have to outwit potential aggressors with stealth and speed. Aircrews must complete a grueling 6month specialized course to prove they have the skills, the nerve and the heart, to fly in one of the most dangerous regions in the world.


Access granted graphic Trenton Base Key: 426 Transport Training Squadron / CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canada

VO 1.2: Narrator: 426 Squadron has a rich history dating back to World War II. Here, all Air Crew and Maintenance Technician candidates train in 30 different aviation courses that support both Hercules and Polaris Aircrafts. Each year, over 1000 personnel graduate from 426 squadron fully prepared for military support operations anywhere in the world. The majority are deployed to war-torn Afghanistan. Dave: right now, we are the lifeline for the army for the troops to get out of the area of operation in Afghanistan, so really we are the ones taking them back and forth out of theatre. Sound Up: Classroom chatter


Soldiers entering base Dave OC Key: Lt Colonel Dave Cochrane / Commanding Officer / 426 Squadron


Key: 426 Squadron Ground School / Training Phase 3 of 4 Soldiers in classroom Shots of each position in action

VO 1.3: Narrator: 426 Squadron provides training for all 6 crew positions in a Hercules aircraft. The Aircraft Commander and 1st Officer pilot the plane in the left and right seats. The Navigator and Flight Engineer support the pilots in the cockpit, while out back in the cargo bay, 2 Load-Masters, or Loadies are in charge freight in the rear. Some students have already flown with


Teacher at head of classroom behind lectern.

Hercules aircrews and are looking to upgrade their tactical flying skills. Others have worked on different types of aircraft in the Canadian forces. All of the candidates share the same goal to be one of the select few who graduate and test their skills in Afghanistan. Teacher: For the No-Time Diversion? Pollock: Just like if a threat pops up right in front of you a mile off track or something like that, you gotta get away from there as soon as you can. Sound Up from Cockpit: Rumpel: Crew from the right seat weve got a hostile helo sighted. Teacher: Basically, youre gonna do a timing triangle. And how that works, is basically making an equilateral triangle.


Herc banking right Back to classroom

Prop spin up CU takeoff

4:16 Chris OC Key: Captain Chris Rumpel / CC-130 Hercules Flight Instructor Various classroom shots

VO 1.4: Narrator: This course isnt just about learning to fly an aircraft from A to B. In Afghanistan, these planes will be delivering crucial cargo by parachute directly to forward troops on the ground. These students must learn how to squeeze a 132 foot wingspan through jagged, narrow river beds in hostile territory. There are no weapons on a Hercules. Her only defense against an enemy attack is flying at a low altitude in a stealth mode, and evasive maneuvering while under attack. A Hercules aircrew operates with a paper-thin margin of error. Chris: Each course consists of about 18 students, thats broken down to 3 crews of 6 students each. You have 2 pilots, one an aircraft commander, 1st officer, flight engineer, a navigator and 2 loadmasters. Right from day 1 we basically tell them that youre getting on a roller coaster ride, its not over until almost 6 months down the road, approximately, and theyre gonna

have ups and downs. Its gonna be stressful, its gonna be fun. Its gonna be painful, its gonna be a pleasure at times. On occasion we have people that dont make it through the course. That could be for a various amount of reasons. It could be for family issues, it could be academics, it could be that they just dont have the skills that were looking for to fly the Hercules in the manner that we do. Thats the question we asked at the end of the course: is this person capable of doing this successfully. Teacher: Okay, thats it for me. 06:33 Classroom shots Dave OC Sound Up: Classroom chatter. Dave: Youll find with Air crew they are primarily Type A personality - very focused, very - showing incredible initiative, and they want a challenge, and thats what I find is all the students want a challenge and they want to prove their capabilities, so we do have some characters at times and it is good because it really provides for some strong crew cohesion with the air crew, you have people coming from different facets of life and they all come together as a cohesive team with very dynamic discussions at times but people are very focused on the mission and they are very results oriented. Shane: I joined originally in 93 as a navigator and I was posted to the Hercules community back before the war in Afghanistan started. Im currently 42, an old man in the community but Ive been over there 3 times, Ive been over as a 1st Officer for my 1st 3 tours, and now Im upgrading to aircraft commander. When I got out of University I joined a company and uh, I was sitting in a cubicle typing on a computer and at 23-24 years old, I didnt think that was for me so uh, I thought Id join the military and be all that I could be.

Beauty shots of Herc Students preparing to board ECU of Herc pan L 07:24 Several Herc shots and pans Cockpit shots Shane OC Key: Captain Shane McGill / Aircraft Commander Candidate Herc taxi

Sound up: Cockpit Voice 1: Got the right hand turn from flight instruments? 08:02 Shots behind cockpit on ground Dean OC Key: Captain Dean Rood / 1st Officer Candidate Herc takeoff in cockpit and out Cockpit Voice 2: Yeah, check. Dean: If you think about an airliner, theres 2 pilots, and theyre normally called the pilot and co-pilot. Um, In the Military, its similar similar positions. We call it aircraft commander and 1st officer. Whereas the aircraft Commanders responsibilities are the aircraft, the mission, and the crew - Whereas the 1st officer is there to assist, the aircraft commander uh, anything that will help the pilot out so that he can devote all his concentration on flying. Sound Up: Hercules Aircraft takes off Dean: I became interested in aviation when I was about 15 or 16. My older brother received his private pilots license, so thats about when I decided thats what I wanted to do. I wanted to fly, I wanted to travel around the world, work with a close knit team, and uh, I didnt really want a normal 9-5ish job, I wanted to do different things, and in the Military you can do that. Sound Up: Tony Norris: Ive been in the snow before. Im Canadian! (laughs) Tony: I am the Flight Engineer. Im the aircraft knowledge specialist. Were supposed to know anything and everything from nose to tail about the aircraft and when somebody looks around and goes, whys that light on, whys the engine stopped, whys that squeaking? Were supposed to know. Im very new the Herc world. I came from search and rescue; from the new search and rescue platform, the Conrad Helicopter, so I spent 5 years there. So its been a pretty intense ride so far. Its a lot of aircraft knowledge to take in - in a short period of time Ive uh, I got promoted fairly quickly because I seem to

Dean OC 09:06 LS of Herc in Camo, Zout. Snow on ground Servicing Herc in Snow Tony OC Key: Sergeant Tony Norris / Flight Engineer Candidate Servicing Her engine

be pretty decent at the job, or everybody seems to think so. 09:56 Spencer: Its really a natural progression for those of us that are posted to tactical Spencer OC flying, you start off as a 1st officer, and uh, Key: Captain Spencer Selhi sort of develop your knowledge of the / Aircraft Commander aircraft and the operational environment Candidate and then once youve gained enough skills with the aircraft, and enough knowledge, In cockpit hard bank right then you can move on and be promoted to aircraft commander and take, uh, take command in an operational mission. Ive done this course in the right seat, and you know its a good course as a 1st officer but I think its a lot more fun as a aircraft commander. Front of Herc from Left, Chris: Lockheed designed this aircraft for engines on. one thing really, is to be the workhorse of Crew board Herc (View from the air force. Its noisy, its dirty, and she inside) keeps trucking along. Hence our names, truckers, thats our call sign for the uh, Various shots of crew combat ready flight. And it really is preparing in Herc indicative of what we do in real life, is ah, Takeoff through cockpit and take this plane all around the world. outside (behind) Whether it be jungle runs, desert runs, arctic runs. Were going get it into those Chris OC places that people dont want to take their pretty planes to get in there. Various Base Shots Key: CC-130 Hercules Training / Phase 3 Flight Simulator Shots of simulator opening and inside. Soldiers entering sim. VO 2.1 Narrator: Session 3 of the 4 phase training program is about to begin for a group of soldiers learning to fly the Hercules aircraft. If they graduate, they will be going to Afghanistan. They have already slogged through three months in the classroom, and are almost ready to get into the plane. But first, they must prove their capabilities in the aircraft simulator. Only if this team of hopeful candidates can successfully operate in the simulator in a number of warzone scenarios, will they be allowed to move on to the next level real tactical flying in a Herc. This is a crucial transition point. Chris: We do realize that this is not meant




Sim in action Liftoff in Sim

Chris OC Key: CC-130 Hercules Simulator / Flight 1 Key: Captain Chris Rumpel / CC-130 Hercules Flight Instructor

for everybody, and theres a selected few people that are going to make it to this point and get through this course. Hopefully everybody does but the fact of life is, not everybody will because they dont have what it takes. Sound Up: Chris: Shane, Steer right here heading 1-8-0. Shane: Right, 1-8-0 Jim: Each hour that we have put in the simulator saves thousands of dollars of actual aircraft time and flying hours. We can do stuff in the simulator that they cannot do in the airplane. Uh, you would not blow a tire on purpose on an airplane, you would not, flame out an engine onpurpose on an aircraft. We can do that and if they crash, we do a reset and everythings back - back in line, and everybody survives. We have five projectors up on top that will give a 210 by 40 degree visual scene, and its pretty realistic. Dean: When you first get in there and start everything up, it feels like its all a simulation and its not real, but after about 5 minutes when youre flying around, it really does feel like its the real thing you start getting the same sensations, the same ground rush and everything and its uh, its quite realistic. VO 2.2: Narrator: Today, Shane, Dean and Tony will test their skills as Aircraft Commander, 1st officer, and Flight Engineer. Although the simulator can crash without killing anyone, this training stage is still crucial. In a real Hercules, missing one seemingly trivial item could mean death. During the flights, Instructors are onboard to keep a sharp eye on all procedures and coaching the students every step of the way. Sound Up: Female Instructor: Yeah, just to let you know,


Night flying in Sim Shots outside sim Jim OC Key: Jim McQueen / Field Site Manager / CAE


Inside Sim Dean OC Key: Captain Dean Rood / 1st Officer Candidate Sim in action from outside


Inside Sim


Shots inside sim

Eng: You cant do a tactical Post take-off unless youve done the combat entry, ok? Tony: Thats what I was wondering. Chris: Yup, thats a good point, and thats why were in the SIM. Tony: I was thinking, because I didnt get my loadmaster check in either, right, so. 14:00 Shots inside Sim Tony OC Key: Sergeant Tony Norris / Flight Engineer Candidate Shane: Thats a good point. Tony: My job on the flight deck is to back-up the pilots, it gets really busy. You might say a mission specialist, and watching the aircraft, making sure the parameters of the aircraft arent overstressed. Potentially, um, if I screw up, I could put an aircraft in the dirt. Shut an engine off when youre not supposed to, hit the wrong switch, exasperate a fire, you could take down navigation systems, so yeah, you gotta be on top of the ball, thats for sure. They certainly try to get in as much realism in our training as they can, and even though its an artificial environment, it gets to be pretty real. VO 2.3: Narrator: This crew handled the 1st flight easily and appears confident. In cases like this, the instructors may throw curveballs at the students to keep them on their toes. Sound Up: Dean: Traffic. Trucker 7 is rolling on runway 0-6. Sound Up: (Alarm): Shane: Abort! Abort! Fire in number 2. Shut down number 2! Just 1 and 4 only. Dean: We had one emergency. Um, simulated engine fire, so as we were accelerating down the highway to take off, we had a fire warning. We shut down the engine, we tried to discharge the fire extinguisher. It didnt take. The fire wasnt


Shots inside Sim

14:56 Key: CC-130 Hercules Simulator / Flight 2 Klaxons and Lights go off, crew scramble to find and fix problem.


Engine emergency continues Tony OC

contained, so we ended up doing a ground evacuation. Tony: Does the simulator stress us enough, absolutely, um, certainly when you get the loud noises from the warning horn. There are certain lulls that are normal in the day to day flying, and thats where they want to actually catch you and say, Hey, wake-up! It kind of sucks because everybody gets caught, Im sure youve probably seen the guy sitting at his desk at work and hes having a long day and hes doing the head bob, we get the same thing too. Sound Up: Shawn: Okay, lets ground evac! Crew? Ground evac Dean: The procedures are all real, its a lot of stuff to know, a lot of stuff to study and remember. It can get you stressed, the simulation is very good. And uh, the idea is to become so proficient and so familiar with the procedures, uh, and let yourself feel overwhelmed in the simulator so you become on-top of it, so when it happens in the plane that, that you wont be stressed, and itll become second nature. Chris: They reacted very good, but you know its something that I added on the syllabus today because of how well they are doing. Someone might say, is that fair? Absolutely because in real life, I dont know when that engine fires gonna happen. We hope it doesnt happen, but if it does, they just proved to me that they can deal with it in a timely manner, and thats what were looking for: Crisp, sound, immediate actions being safe and effective, and if they dont- if theyre not perfect, thats fine, as long as theyve chosen that route that is still considered ideal and in the interest of everybody to protect the safety of everybody. Sound Up: Chris: Tactical Departure of your choice. Shane: My choice? Okay, lets do a zoom. Okay this will be a zoom


Crew evacuate sim


Chris OC


Crew preparing in Sim Key: CC-130 Hercules

Simulator / Flight 3 Dean oC

departure. Dean: We did a zoom departure, which is where you uh, just lift off the ground, raise the gear, raise the flaps, accelerate, and then zoom up, and gain altitude as quickly as possible. Sound Up: Shane: And here comes the zoom. Chris: Nice job, Right up to the uh, see the chevrons, good stuff.


Crew in Sim

Shane OC Key: Captain Shane McGill / Aircraft Commander Candidate 18:23 Crew in Sim

Shane: Its very different compared to the way an average person thinks about flying. An average person thinks about going from A to B and most of what goes on in the front of the aircraft is for passenger comfort, so theres no aggressive maneuvering. We are concerned with avoiding threats and if we are being shot at we have maneuvers that will help us defeat these threats. Sound Up: Dean: Did we call the landing check? (pause) Dean: There was one point during the flight that we were headed in a direction that seemed a little counter intuitive to me. Uh I didnt really say too much, tried to figure it out on my own. Chris: There was a situation where he didnt speak up. He knew that something hadnt happened, and he quietly stated that there should be something happening meaning specifically a check-list shouldve been actioned. And then he sat there quietly and just let things pursue towards the darker side. Sound Up: Shane: Landing Gear Dean: Down and checked (some rushed cross talk) Shane: Cool landing check complete

Dean OC


Crew in Sim

Chris OC


Crew in Sim


Crew in Sim Dean OC


Crew in Sim

Chris: In this case they couldve forgotten to put their landing gear down and made it very interesting to end it off. (laugh) VO 2.4: Narrator: In the end, the crew got their gear down in time and landed the Herc safely. This near miss highlighted the importance of effective communication and strong team-dynamics in the cockpit. Dean: I guess, you know, had I spoken up and just asked the question it wouldve been resolved a lot sooner. And once you get those things resolved, then you can be more effective to the crew. Because when youre off in you own world, sort of wondering whats happening, youre essentially baggage in aircraft, youre not contributing anything to the crew. Sound Up: Chris: Howd the landing check go? Tony: That was actually my question. When was it? Dean: I said landing check when we were crossing overhead. Chris: Well, you did but it was really never loud enough. You shouldve been more firm, saying, hey, landing check, you gotta do something. Youre a part of the team there, right seat ok so you need to back em up.

Chris OC


Crew in Sim

Chris: Certainly in the debrief, he was aware of his mistake, which is the best thing that can happen in that situation. Basically if you dont feel something is right, you have to raise it to the aircraft commanders attention, because theres been many people that havent done it, stayed quiet, and as a result an incident or an accident can occur. VO 2.5: Narrator: Deans mistake couldve have

forced him out of the program. Luckily for him, he recovered in time to save the aircraft. The only damage was to his ego. Dean will have a chance to redeem himself in the next phase of the course - a real flight.


Key: Land Advance Warfare Centre / Canadian Forces / CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canada Shot of cargo prepared in hanger


VO 3.1: Narrator: While the cockpit crews focus on tactical flying, the Load Masters are responsible for the cargo in the rear of the aircraft. Ground Troops in Afghanistan rely Herc medium altitude flyby on the Hercules crews to deliver things like food, water and ammunition to places Cargo Deck traditional supply lines cant reach. Since the parachutes can hold up to 30, 000 From tail ramp outside to pounds virtually anything can be dropped pan L of cargo from a Hercules. In training, cargo loads are typically filled with sand. The stakes are high for the loadies in the Hercs, and the support technicians who pack the loads back on the ground. If, during a mission, a loads parachute was to get hung up during its exit from the cargo hold, the Hercules could crash. Closeups of loading Shawn: Behind you what you see here are procedure 3, well these ones right here are heavy Shawn OC loads, which would simulate a lot of the Key: Corporal Shawn vehicles that would go out if they need to Kennedy / Load and Drop be deployed from the Hercules. Most of Zone Support / Tactical them range from about 4000 to 9000 Airlift Maintenance Section pounds depending on whats going to be in them. Like if were dropping a vehicle its obviously going to be a bit heavier than dropping rations and food. From the bottom up is energy dispersing pads at the bottom, Video shots of harnessing which is uh, we call it just honeycomb, and equipment handling which uh, all it does is - when the load actually impacts the ground, itll take as much force as possible and compress so that the load doesnt get damaged. But from that you just go from your horizontal

Several practice drops of cargo hitting the ground

restraint systems so the actual G-forces of the load exiting the aircraft doesnt shift the load off of the platform. Uh, but besides that, everything from the suspension slings here its just uh, how the parachute will attach to the load itself, and the release mechanism which is actually one of the more important parts of the load because the moment it hits the ground, it needs to have the parachute disconnect from the load so it doesnt let it get dragged across a highway, or in this case, across a battlefield. If anything goes wrong with these loads, any parachute thats hung up outside the aircraft, can bring it down, so if anything shifts in the aircraft, gets hung up, uh were talking about a whole aircraft thundering in, and unfortunately its not a pretty thought at all. So, especially in terms of overseas where theres already a high risk with the pilots going in there as it is. So in terms of the quality control here, its extremely important that uh, everything in the book is followed exactly the way its supposed to because any malfunction and uh, theres more than just a load thats gonna thunder in, its just its peoples lives.


Load dropped from Plane Off Limits graphic Classroom shots Key: 426 Squadron Headquarters / Training Phase 4 / Pre Flight Briefing Sound Up: Class Instructor: Good morning. The following briefing is unclassified. Political talks between the UN, Sparta and Vandal Governments have heated up over the current location of 2 tank battalions. A total of six SLFS. (Dialogue fades out). VO 3.2: Narrator: In phase 4 of the training program, Hercules aircrews are tested without the safety net of the simulator.


Classroom shots

After several weeks of some basic cargo drop exercises at the airfield, flight teams are now given their orders and objectives just as they would in a real war-zone. Within a simulated combat environment, they are told when the cargo is scheduled for delivery and what to expect from enemy resistance. The team has just a couple of hours to map out the most strategic route to fly to the drop zone, deliver the load on time and then fly safely back to base with enough fuel in reserve. 24:49 Classroom shots Herc Shots Shane: (under visuals) The front end crew is here. Weve got the two pilots and the navigator, and were coming up with the route and the flight plan. The flight engineer is at this point going over the plane and making sure its completely serviceable and the load masters are going over the loads in the back to make sure that theyre ready, theyre accepting the loads. The loads have been all rigged and theyre accepting the loads from the people that rigged them. Ah, making sure, theyre QCing them to make sure theyre good and then theyre going to check their part of the plane to make sure its good to go as well Shane: Todays mission, were seeing a few things that are new, uh, were getting something called a Fac Nyliner and essentially what that is in laymens terms is a situation where the army doesnt exactly know where they want us to drop this load, um typically we have that information and we just plan for it, but today, its one of a possible, number of possibilities of places where we could drop it so, were gonna get airborne, and were gonna go to a point in space and hold, and someones gonna tell us at that point where to go. As well, were going north to drop on a couple of drop zones we havent seen yet, so thats gonna make it a bit interesting as well.

Loadmaster checking cargo deck


Herc cargo door closing Classroom shots Shane OC Key: Captain Shane McGill / Aircraft Commander Candidate / Flight Team 1

Shots around Herc preparing to fly

Pretty: Low level shot of helmet as soldier walks to plan. 26:33 Crew walking to Herc Greg OC Key: Captain Greg Folkins / In-Flight Pilot Instructor / Flight Team 1 More of crew walking to plane

Shane: Were all under a certain amount of pressure because its a course, um, to perform, and now theyve added on another little bit of pressure, they call this week, war week, where every time you go up and fly you have to meet certain levels of competency, and theyve ratcheted up the levels to the point where were supposed to do it without errors, so to continue to advance, we need to get it right.


Greg: Since operations are happening for real in Afghanistan, we have pretty much made the drawing line that, you know these crews are ready to go out and deal with something for real, or if we dont think they are going to cut it then, its basically a hard fail at that point. VO 3.3: Narrator: Every member of the flight team is aware of their crucial roles and responsibilities during the mission. This is the make or break moment in the course. VO 3.4: Narrator: Instructors on board will be monitoring the entire flight if something goes wrong, its the instructors job to single out the weak link within the crew and its chain of command. Sound Up: Pollock: 3, 2, 1. Take-off VO 3.5: Narrator: Speeding through the war-torn mountains of Afghanistan just several hundred feet off the ground in a 155 thousand pound aircraft leaves no margin for error. If this team cant carry out todays training mission successfully someone will fail the course. Shane: Essentially in my seat, in the left seat when youre flying the aircraft, you really need to pay most of your attention on exactly say, not hitting the ground, and


Fade to Black Shots of 3 Hercs, 2 taxi Takeoff in cockpit


Takeoff cont


Rear view of takeoff Takeoff cont Shane OC

watching where youre going thats where I have my navigator whos keeping a good eye on the timing controls so we dont get ahead or late. Snow covered trees/lake through cockpit window Sound Up: Navigator: Just be careful there. Heres a couple of features. Shane: Check Navigator: See this river at your 12 oclock here? Shane: yup. Navigator: Thats pretty much on track. Shane: The navigator is all important in the run-in phase to the drop, hes got to situate the plane right in space, right where we need it to be, and on time, to get the load out and so very challenging for him. 28:31 Cockpit inserts VO 3.6: Narrator: They have GPS and radar at their fingertips, but because they are flying so low and so fast, the Navigators choose to work from topographic maps while sighting landmarks on the terrain below They receive last minute co-ordinates from the command control centre. Now they can make their approach to the drop zone. The entire crew is aware that staying on time is crucial to the success of this mission. Gary: We fly very fluidly, but at the same time we have a timing that we have to meet and a destination that we have to meet, you know, within one minute and thats for the, to get the drop on target and on time. So it all has to culminate in being where he wants to be at a given period of time. Sound Up: 1st Officer: Load Master in position! Loadmaster: Loadmaster Acknowledges. Shane: Heres our River. 1st Officer: Roger that Navigator: Slow down, Now! Shane: Rapid door. Loadmaster: Clear to open. Door opening


Herc in air Gary OC Key: Captain Gary Schuell / CC-130 Hercules Flight Instructor


Door opening View out tail doors

Shane: The whole mission was pretty mundane right up until we got into the hold and then that was when the money shot was happening. We knew what drop zone we were going to and so then it was game on Sound Up: 1st Officer: Standby for the Pop! Pop Now! 1st Officer: Keep Rolling Left.15 seconds! Shane: What drags the load out of the back is the deck angle so we fly the aircraft at a very high deck angle and its on a roller system where it just you cut a rope type idea and it just rolls out the back. So you can imagine, if that deck angle isnt there, it wont roll out properly, but if its too high, we run the risk of stalling, so its right on the edge of the envelope.

Dropping load view from Cargo Bay

30:38 (Visual: Load slides out of plane)

Sound Up: 1st Officer: 5 seconds! Do you have it? Loadmaster: Thats a ramp! Shane: Close got it. 1st Officer: Green On!


Sound Up: 1st Officer: Keep Rolling Left.15 seconds! Key: CC-130 Herules Shane: Flaps. Reset 4 Training / Phase 4 / Flight 1st Officer: 5 seconds! Do you have it? Team 1 approaches drop Loadmaster: Thats a ramp! zone Shane: Close got it. (Visual: Load slides out of 1st Officer: Green On! plane and see it fall out back) Sound Up: Loadmaster: Load Clear Load hanging under Shane: As you get to the money shot and parachute the load actually exits the aircraft, thats the Shane OC culmination of everything and thats for Key: Captain Shane me, the most challenging and the most McGill / Aircraft exciting, and everything and the most Commander Candidate / saturating. Fight Team 1

Sound Up: Loadmaster: Clear to close. WS of Parachute and Load Doors closing Shane: Ultimately we have to drop this load not only on target but within a certain window in a bigger package, there may be multiple people going to the same target so, we need to hit it on our time because someone else is using it a different time. VO 4.1: Narrator: The load was dropped on time and on target, but there is no time to rest easy. Now the crew must navigate back through hostile territory to the safety of their air base. Just because they avoided enemy detection on their way to the drop zone doesnt mean there isnt an ambush waiting for them during their return route. Gary: We fly low level to avoid detection, generally speaking. The type of threats that were trying to avoid, ah you know, an unfriendly force with small arms, or Triple A or something like that, anti aircraft artillery. So hes looking for you, if he cant see you then obviously youre successful. In order for him not to see you we want to put terrain in between us and a potential threat. 200 minimum safe distance is our contract, and what that means is, essentially its 200 above ground, but bearing in mind if you have 50 foot trees, you know, if youre 200 above ground, youre only 150 above trees, if you do the math, you know its approximately 250 feet. Chris: A lot of it really is focused on the front end, thats what youre seeing with the pilots and the navigators. Youve got the engineers there, but you cant forget that the load masters are part of that equation. They are an integral part of the crew, very important, ah they do a lot of work that goes hidden. Sound Up: 1st Officer: Top hat, Trucker 5, go ahead please.


Herc flying away


Herc in air low level

Gary OC Key: Captain Gary Schuell / CC-130 Hercules Flight Instructor


Beauty shot snow covered forest through props Chris OC Key: Captain Chris Rumpel / CC-130 Hercules Flight Instructor

Various shots around Herc


Load Master: Trucker five. Top hat. Initial picture 2 bogies, suspected Helos, hostile. Chris: They will be spotting out their windows, covering the rear aspect of the aircraft, looking for threats; any kind of unusual activity on the ground, reporting to us, because for pilots and the navigator we can only see forward of the aircraft. And once, when everythings past the wings thats their responsibility. Could be a missile, could be Triple A fire, something like that. Theyre the guys that are going to save our bacon from the rear aspect. Sound Up: 1st Officer: Okay 0-9-0. Okay guys we got a threat, pretty much on our 3 Oclock position right now for 15 miles. Shane: Cool. Snap 2-7-0. Engage Hostile Helo. Loadmaster: Check! Helo Vander right. 4 OClock. 3 miles. Hot! Still firing! Still firing! SAM, Right, 5 OClock! 1 mile! VO 4.2: Narrator: The drop to the ground troops was perfect, but the flight crew is now under enemy fire. After a slight hesitation, the Aircraft Commander executes several evasive maneuvers. It works. He saves the aircraft and his crew from being hit by enemy anti aircraft artillery. The 1stofficer relays the enemy locations to allied forces on the ground who will then move in to eliminate the threat. After changing course, its the navigators job to quickly generate a new route back to base. Sound Up: Navigator: Im thinking hes a Helo we could outrun him. Instructor: Roger that.

Herc takes evasive action 34:11 Shot through props of lake


Crew in cockpit looking at maps

VO 4.3: Narrator: Even though the approach, the

drop and the Aircraft Commanders evasive maneuvers were near perfect, there was a slight hang-up in adjusting the follow up navigation plan, which briefly delayed the Air Crew. Sound Up: Shane: Landing Gear. 1st Officer: Check 35:05 Herc coming in for a landing VO 4.4: Narrator: How big a mistake was the delay? The crew will have to wait until the flight debriefing to find out. Greg: It went pretty well. There was some errors through the flight but overall they did pretty well. We kind of take them to a couple of levels above what they might see in theatre so that theyll be ready for that when they go over there. Some people might actually go to theatre and find it a little bit mundane compared to what we do here on the course. Our war week which is what were into right now is pretty much the most difficult Her training that youre going to get. Shane: You want to be over trained, you want to be over-tasked and uh, its like anything you know, if you over-train physically, if you run a marathon every day you can run 10km no problem. VO 4.5: Narrator: After the flight, the instructor tells Captain Shane McGill the mistakes they made. During the attacks, the delayed reaction of the navigator could have put the flight team at risk by flying into unknown and potentially dangerous enemy territory. Sound Up: Shane: Okay are we all here? Uh, 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Um. Debrief Trucker 5. Planning from the front end was a little bit more compressed than usual. That was no surprise with 3 run-ins. Uh, this environment, especially the training environment is one that obviously you have to do the job right but you have to do it as fast as you can. You


Herc landing

Greg OC Key: Captain Greg Folkins / In-Flight Pilot Instructor / Flight Team 1 35:40 Crew getting off plane, props still spin Shane OC 35:54 Crew still disembarking.


Key: 426 Squadron Headquarters / Flight Team 1 Debrief Classroom shots

cant take a lackadaisical approach to it, so I dont know how to debrief it any more than that but just be as snappy as you can. Be fast and perfect, hows that? Okay, 7 tomorrow morning for you guys, thanks. 36:55 Students leaving classroom VO 4.6: Narrator: Despite the navigation errors, the overall execution of the mission was considered a pass. Every member of this flight crew will get to fly again. VO 4.7: Narrator: The flight crew-members are not the only ones involved in a successful cargo drop. In Afghanistan and in training, The Hercules air-crew must coordinate with a Drop Zone Controller. They supply vital environmental data that effects the outcome of the drop. Sound Up: Ross: Trucker 5, Drop Zone Tiger. Check 1 minute. Winds from 3-5-0 at 9 knots. Clear to drop. Ross: Im their eyes on the ground, so I see whats going on here should there be any hazards that would come into play when they were on their run-ins. I would advise them of a stop drop. Im also here to call their winds. Theres wind limitations for certain types of drops. We give wind direction also, and then the Navs are able to calculate the release points, also using the winds that I give them on the ground. So, ultimately were just another added safety we also coordinate the recovery of the parachutes and the loads. Sound Up: Ross: Whoa. I need to come a little closer. Ugh. Ross: So this meter here, its called an anemometer, and it gives us the wind-speed in knots, so currently its giving us a reading 9.4 knots. It uh, and this is what we

(Visual Transition) 37:12 Various mission inserts

Key: Test Drop Zone/ CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canada 37:43 Man in drop zone relaying messages Key: Warrant Officer Ross Prophet / Drop Zone Controller / Tactical Airlift Maintenance Section Several drop and retrieval shots.

Insert of anemometer

use to advise the sir crews of the wind limits on the ground. Sound Up: Ross: Trucker 6. Drop Zone Tiger. Check 1 minute. Winds from 3-5-0 at 13 knots. Clear to drop. Ross: Part of the communications that we do, we communicate twice with the aircrafts, we communicate on their inbound, which is 6 minutes out, and then the 2nd communication we have with them is at the one minute and at 1 minute we give the direction of the wind the speed of the wind, and then we advise the aircrew whether its clear to drop or not At any time between the 1 minute and the actual drop time we can advise them of a stop drop. Should there be a little aircraft come into the area or a civilian come onto the drop zone, we would advise them of a stop drop. VO 5.1: Narrator: As flight school nears the end of Phase 4 training missions get harder and the standards are raised even higher. Five and a-half months of training come down to just a few more evaluation flights. The next challenge? Contour flying over the treetops and tucked down in the river beds. Chris: This is the make or break point in this course. Its made very clear to the students that this is a very aggressive training plan. Well be flying in riverbeds uh, the ultimate challenge there for contour flying. Concealing the aircraft from the enemy. Theres definitely an art to it. Not only an art but a huge requirement for a huge skill-set because the fact of life is, you are going to war. VO 5.2: Narrator: In Afghanistan, Hercules crews fly through jagged mountains every day. To avoid detection they will have to tuck a 155,000 lb aircraft into a winding riverbed

Herc Flyby Ross OC in field


Key: Flight Team 2 / CC130 Hercules Training Phase 4 / Ready for takeoff


Crew boarding Herc Chris OC Key: Captain Chris Rumpel / In-Flight Instructor / Flight Team 2


Crew in Cockpit taxi and takeoff


going at over 200 mph. It sounds like suicide. In a warzone, its quite the opposite. Effective contour flying conceals an aircraft. That means facing a lot less enemy fire from the ground. The pressure to perform is enormous. Takeoff continued Spencer: Theres always pressure. Pressure to perform. Every single day, Spencer OC things get a little bit more complex, so Key: Captain Spencer Selhi theres an added element of a little bit of / Aircraft Commander stress both in the pre-flight planning Candidate / Flight Team 2 process as well as during the flight. Theres more going on, and your expected level of performance goes up all the time so, it can get stressful absolutely. Sound Up: Chris: And we are 17 minutes and 30 seconds from our original timings. Spencer: Check. Dean: Okay just stay right on the edge of this lake. Dean: the 1st officer is there to assist, the aircraft commander. If hes busy flying, Ill be reading the map, handling communications with the ground and other aircraft, ancillary control, flaps and landing gear. Sound Up: Chris: Once we cut the corner its a direct line if you guys arent on your money on the money for a 10 minute roll X its going to make it difficult for the river route. Dean: Okay. VO 5.3: Narrator: To ramp up the pressure the instructors have subtracted 17 minutes from their drop schedule. Now the Crew must take a shorter route through the riverbed. Add bad weather to the list, and a drop zone theyve never seen before and youve got the makings for a white-knuckle mission. Gary: The mission this week is to deliver a load via an air-drop scenario. Um, the loads typically are container delivery


Cockpit view of forest Dead OC Key: Captain Dean Rood / 1st Officer Candidate / Flight Team 2


Forest through WS of cockpit


Bad weather and ELS of Herc banking right Gary OC Key: Captain Gary Schuell / CC-130 Hercules

Flight Instructor Classroom shots Cargo Bay shots

Shots around aircraft flying low level

system, so 2, 3 thousand pound load that type of thing. Trying to get it on target, on time. Um, theyve done that in the past, its kind of been a little more canned. You know in the sense that weve been doing it at drop zones just to the south of Trenton here. The drop zone that theyre going to they havent seen before. So the first time they, you know, when they acquire it from the slow down point right into the actual green on, when that load actually goes, its all new to them. Sound Up: Dean: Crew from the right seat, weve got a hostile Helo sighted after the drop. Near point Alpha Romeo 8. Standby for updates. Chris: The reality is that you could have someone on the ground trying to shoot you. Youre trying to do a good deed. Someone might take it as youre not being welcome.


Plane flying in distance Chris OC in classroom

Many shots of plan flying low level pre drop


Sound Up: Dean: Crew from the right seat, that last reported threats been eliminated. Chris: We have to be very cognizant flying in the valley here guys. Uh prevent your blowouts. For the loadies too youre in on this part here. We want 200 feet off the wingtips. If were getting close I need you to let the AC know that, okay? Loadmaster: Check Chris: There are times where you might feel uncomfortable. Expect to be close to the edges. Loadmaster: Check. Dean: Okay this track is right on, right when you come over this ridge you should see the entrance to the river. Loadmaster: Check. Shots of Herc flying and James: When were down at 200 feet maneuvers theres a lot more to play with. So youve James OC got the terrain that youve got to worry Key: Captain James Brown about, things are a lot faster coming up on / CC-130 Hercules Tactical the pilot. So when were flying along on a

Navigation Instructor Maneuvers low level flight: fairly exciting

regular Air Canada mission as I call them, you can couple up the auto pilot, sit back have your coffee and relax. But when youre down at 200 feet you dont have that luxury. Sound Up: Navigator: So left turn just after this. Chris: Right seat, just follow through with youre thumb on the map okay? If anything, youre going to fall behind because were going 5 times faster on the map. James: So youve got to stay ahead, but not too far ahead of whats coming, rushing at ya. So if were going, for instance were going 210 knots ground, that means were going 3.5 miles per minute. So it comes pretty fast. Sound Up: Chris: Okay, come right. Hard right turn now. You got youre clear weather Dean. Thats the kind of stuff we expect. Dean: Okay. Chris: Okay you know you gotta go right, you found clear weather to the right. Make it happen. Okay let just keep coming right, lets get back in the river route. Well worry about the timings later. Dean Okay, were crossing over the river now. James: Down at 200 feet were going to use valleys, were going to use lakes, major features down on the ground to actually pin point where we are. Sound Up: Chris: Okay, now get your ass in there! Get on the right side! Okay, lets call the left turn. Spencer: Okay left turns going to be the 3-3-0

Dean: All clear left. Spencer: Clear left! Chris: Okay this is where youre going to do a big left and a hard right. So you want to get on the left side? Spencer: Next headings going to be 0-30. Dean: Check. 45:57 Low level maneuvers continues VO 5.4: Narrator: The Aircraft Commander has to enter and exit the riverbed several times due to storm systems, but the navigator and 1st officer have kept him on course. They are now approaching the drop zone on time. Sound Up: Selhi Stand by for slowdown! Loadmaster: Loadmaster Acknowledge Selhi: Slow down, now! Chris: Right Seat, look for youre drop zone. Dean: Okay, got it. VO 5.5: Narrator: The pressure to hit the drop zone on time and on target is greater than ever. All the successful contour flying will be for naught if they miss the unfamiliar drop zone. It could mean failure for the aircrew. VO 5.6: Narrator: For the loadmasters its even worse. If their cargo malfunctions at the drop-zone, failing the course will be the least of their worries. Chris: With a heavy equipment airdrop, if that hangs up, meaning that it doesnt leave the aircraft, and youve got that extraction shoot, that drogue shoot that is out in the slipstream. That could really, it could cause the Herc. despite its massive amount of power, it might not be able to fly. Cause if you slip one step, it could mean between survivability or becoming a statistic. Sound Up: Selhi: 5 seconds! Green on! Loadmaster: Load Clear!


Low level maneuvers continue as they prepare for drop


More cockpit and plane exteriors while in flight


Herc flies low overhead

Chris OC

Load drops out of Cargo Bay

interior 47:33


Selhi: Flaps Loadmaster: Green off! Load with chutes open out VO 5.7: tail of Herc Narrator: The load is dropped without a hitch, on time and on target. In this combat scenario, all enemy forces have been eliminated, so the crew heads for the air base. For this air crew, this is the culmination of nearly 6 months of training. Herc flies overhead and shots Sound Up: Navigator: I think it went great in cockpit I think we worked better in front of the Camera Selhi: Yeah, camera adds a bit of pressure. Dead OC Dean: a couple weeks ago I wouldnt have imagined being able to fly 200 feet off the ground at uh, over 200 knots. Um, all the time navigating, avoiding threats. And then coordinating the extraction of a load to land on the target at the exact time, exact location. Sound Up: Dean: Yeah, I agree with the Nav, the river route was a bit, uh, well, quite a bit challenging, a bit overwhelming but good exposure. Chris: As a whole everybodys been doing quite well. Considering its a very challenging course. Its not for everybody and theyre not going to just slide through easily, but they are putting in their full effort, which has really been appreciated and we foresee everybody graduating off of this course. Sound Up: Selhi: Loadmaster, do you have anything to add? Loadmaster: Nope, uh, number one loadmasters good. Chris: From here theyll ah, move on to the mount flying phase, thats an add on part to the course so they get that ah, requirement as well. And then therell be a 4 day check ride which flies throughout


Crew calm in cockpit

Herc flies in distance across beautiful skyscape


Shane OC Key: Captain Shane McGill / Aircraft Commander Candidate

North America. Shane: This is really becoming a reality for me now its been a challenging course and the end is within weeks away. Um, Ive already got my date for Afghanistan. And yeah, its gonna come quick. Dean: Im scheduled to deploy with Spencer, so thats my focus right now.

Dean OC Low level over city/lake Shane OC Shane: This course has been very challenging and demanding and ultimately to fly in Afghanistan as an aircraft commander and get a load to some of our guys on the ground that really need it would be the ultimate thing. Sound Up: Chris: Overall I was very happy with you guys, uh, very challenging day. You gave me the confidence that you guys can complete this course with great success. So well done guys; very well done today. 50:05 51:01 Herc in extreme distance with clouds and sunburst Roll Credits Fade to Black