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Moving on in My Love Affair with the C-130H

Me preparing to drop supplies as part of Operation Christmas Drop.

Today is a very bittersweet day for me. After 7 years in the active duty Air Force, today is my last day on active duty.

It has been an incredible ride of ups and downs all over the world.  I have met many of the greatest people I have ever known in this time.  I have been mentored and taught by great minds who had so much to share and were willing to take me under their wing to help me become a better officer, aviator, and man.

I have witnessed the selfless sacrifices of countless other military members, and often the more difficult sacrifices of those we leave behind who keep life going while we go to serve others.  It is an awe-inspiring site to take part in actions that serve thousands of people all over the world who are in dire need of help.

The C-130 is a military plane, but the greatest work that it takes part in is the humanitarian missions it performs.  There is no other plane that can get into the places we can and provide the services we do.  It is a strange feeling to watch natural disasters play out in anticipation of the opportunity to go and help those people.

While it breaks my heart to see the last C-130Hs leave active duty this week, I am equally rejuvenated by the fact that I am starting the next chapter of my career as a member of the 192nd Airlift Squadron in the Nevada Air National Guard.  I do find it quite poetic that on the same day that the last C-130H will leave active duty I will also separate from active duty and move to the National Guard.

Swearing in as a member of the Nevada Air National Guard.

As I drove onto the base for the first time today it was a little surreal to me to think that I will stay here in Reno for the remainder of my career.  No matter how weird it may have felt, when I looked out on the ramp and saw their beautiful C-130Hs I felt right at home.

The awesome thing about the two planes I could see from the parking lot is that they are the MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) birds that are utilized for fighting forest fires all over the country.  This struck me even more with the fires that ripped through California this past week, not too far from where we live.  They are easy to distinguish if you ever see these planes because of the huge orange numbers on the sides of them.

I am incredibly excited to take part in this new mission set to help fight fires, and hopefully prevent as much damage as possible.  I hate to sound like a broken record, but there is something special about being a part of missions that help people in trouble.

Preparing to fly in the Advanced Mountain Airlift Tactics School.

This is not my first time flying in the Reno area as I took part in the Advanced Mountain Airlift Tactics School shortly before I went to Japan.  I actually wrote about it back then if you would like to learn more.  Suffice it to say that it was the most useful flying course I have been through in the C-130 and provided tremendous insights into the intricacies of mountain flying.  Becoming an instructor for that course is just one more thing that I am looking forward to in my new adventure.

One reason I haven’t written much on here for the last year is because I just wasn’t flying much, and the flying we were doing was not really exciting.  While not every flight is meant to be fun and exciting, I am so looking forward to getting back to the flying that made me love the C-130.  Flying in the amazing Sierra Nevadas in some legit mountains is going to provide some great pictures and videos that I look forward to sharing with you in the coming months and years.

Thank you for the support over the years, and please come back to see more about my exciting new adventures.

October 15, 2017 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Idaho Drone Bill Outlaws Spying From the Sky

This 4-rotor UAV helo designed to aid farmers was featured on

This 4-rotor UAV helo designed to aid farmers was featured on

Legislation relating to drones is starting to actually get put into place, and so far I think it has all be pretty reasonable.  The most recent law was signed into law by Idaho’s governor, Butch Otter.  According to an article on the Capital Press website:

The new law, which prevents any person, entity or public agency from using a UAV to conduct surveillance or observation of private property, requires law enforcement to obtain warrants in most cases before using drones to collect evidence.

This legislation is exactly the type of level-headed, fair lawmaking that we need to see.  It protects people from unlawful searches, but at the same time still allows for increased drone usage on private property.  This is extremely important as more and more farmers start to utilize UAVs to better monitor their crops.

I have written previously about the many uses of UAVs, and agriculture is one area that can benefit greatly from this rapidly evolving technology.  Farmers can better monitor the growth of their crops and more efficiently use things like fertilizer and pesticides.  For those farmers with livestock it is easier for them to monitor their herds without using excessive amounts of time, or using expensive tools like manned planes or helicopters.

This small UAV from Headwall Photonics can be used by farmers to better monitor their crops.

This small UAV from Headwall Photonics can be used by farmers to better monitor their crops.

What really makes this law important is protecting the farmers from groups like PETA who could use drones to spy on farmers and create unnecessary legal issues.

This is one of countless laws that we will continue to see popping up over the coming years relating to drones, and it is a very important one.  We can only hope that the rest of the new laws will be equally moderate and allow the technology to grow and evolve while at the same time protecting the rights and privacy of everyone.

What types of legislation do you think we need to see as it relates to drones?

May 21, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.