Former C-5 pilot tells the story of the "Cockpit Cat Fight" between two Female Navigators on their first FRED Mission


By Dario Leone
Aug 5 2017
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Meanwhile commander directed a replacement of all C-5M airlifters ball screw assembly parts fleet-wide to ensure compliance with standards of performance and maximize aircrew safety

The U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) has cleared five C-5M airlifters assigned to Dover Air Force Base (AFB) to resume flying on Aug. 2.

The press release disclosed that the recent incidents involving the C-5M can be traced to ball screw assembly in the nose gear. The five serviceable C-5Ms had their ball screw drive assembly parts replaced.

Meanwhile Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, AMC commander, directed a replacement of all C-5 ball screw assembly parts fleet-wide to ensure compliance with standards of performance and maximize aircrew safety.

“My top priority is safety and readiness of our fleet,” he said. “Our Airmen are working deliberately and methodically at Dover and across the command to identify and resolve any issues impacting the C-5 fleet. We have put measures in place to ensure aircrew safety and reduce wear-and-tear on the aircraft.”

As we have previously reported a Dover C-5 stand-down was directed by the AMC Commander July 17 following a second malfunction of the nose landing gear within a 60-day period.

“We’re taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of Airmen and the reliability of aircraft,” Everhart said. “We’re working hard to minimize impact to the warfighter and worldwide mission requirements without compromising safety.”

This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. C-5M Super Galaxy 60th Air Mobility Wing, 349th Air Mobility Wing, 22nd Airlift Squadron, 07-0042 – Travis AFB, CA.

In fact to ensure safety and minimize impact on worldwide operations work is being done to replace parts on aircraft at Travis AFB, Calif., too.

There are two ball screws on the C-5 nose landing gear both operating in tandem to retract and extend the nose landing gear: if a single ball screw drive assembly is not operational and causes binding, the gear cannot operate and will stall the extension or retraction process.

Everhart II, also issued a policy restricting the use of kneel operations on all C-5 aircraft to mission essential requirements only.

“With an aging fleet, it is important to take all potential measures to reduce stress on the aircraft,” Everhart said. “Our maintainers are working extremely hard to make aircraft repairs and ensure continued support to worldwide missions while engineers assist in securing the parts we need.”

There are 56 C-5 aircraft in the Air Force fleet.

A C-5M Super Galaxy’s nose landing gear retracts inside during a maintenance operations check July 28, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Dover AFB operates a fleet of 18 C-5Ms.

Photo credit: Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia / U.S. Air Force

Artwork courtesy of

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
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