Apollo/Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft Newsletter
ARIA 328 Memorial Foundation - June 2009
ARIA 328 Memorial Service
The ARIA 328 Memorial Service at the National Museum of the Air Force was held on May 6, 2009. I want to thank Bob Beach and Terry Moore for their dedication to the annual services.
ARIA 328 Memorial Flower Arrangements
Each year a beautiful flower arrangement is provided for the ARIA 328 memorial service at the National Museum of the Air Force. Before the transfer of the wing to Edwards Air Force Base it was decided that there would be an annual service held to pay respect to the crew and passengers of ARIA 328. From those early days Terry Moore has been instrumental in ordering the flower arrangement and seeing that the arrangement is at the ARIA 328 Memorial for the May services. This year is no exception and we thank Terry for all of the years of dedicated service.
If it wasn't for those that have donated to the ARIA 328 Memorial Flower Fund we would not be able to provide these annual flowers. Thank you.
An Encounter with Apollo 8
The following article is from "The Intercom" of Cape Canaveral Chapter of TROA, and is written by Lt. Col Robert Mosley, Retired. Submitted by Charles Hinton.
Thirty years ago, on Christmas day 1968, I hurried the family through a very early gift exchange and headed for Base Operations at Patrick AFB, FL to file my clearance for a flight to the Pacific for the purpose of photographing Apollo 8 upon its return from the moon. The plane was a C-135 (a Boeing 707 in the civilian world) with a very large camera mounted on the left side of the fuselage; the whole system being called "ALOTS," (Airborne Lightweight Optical Tracking System). We had used it very successfully for photo coverage of space flight launches, but no one had thought seriously of using it to photograph a re-entry until this flight was conceived.
Now flying an airplane to the Pacific at that point in my flying career was not an overly exciting event (particularly on Christmas Day), but the idea of an intercept between two vehicles with such a tremendous speed differential added a sense of urgency and a touch of drama from my point of reference that I would always remember. I had a feeling of "come on fellas let's get going, they're coming." And when I would actually think of how fast they were coming and how slow we were moving it only heightened the anxiety, Lt. Col Walt Milam was the co-pilot and Maj. Charlie Hinton (the world's greatest navigator) was giving the directions. Additionally, there was an ALOTS crew of about five members to operate the camera from its remote control station back in the fuselage of the aircraft.
We were required to take a minimum crew rest after arriving at Hickam AFB (Honolulu International Airport), but that feeling of "let's get going" persisted because the Apollo 8 crew was certainly not doing any crew resting. Well, a remarkable thing happened about midnight as we gathered for departure from our downtown hotel; the crew transportation arrived on time, no traffic jams were encountered getting to the base, the weather was beautiful, and all four engines started with no problems (the latter not always being a given when you were really in a bind) and we were airborne on time for the final leg of our rendezvous with Apollo 8. We flew to a position about 1,200 miles west and a little south of Hawaii climbing eventually to 43,000 feet. It was a beautiful clear night in the Pacific.
Charlie Hinton gave me a heading change from southwest to north east precisely as he had planned. I held that heading for approximately two minutes, much like a holding pattern, and then Charlie said, "Look to your left, they should be there right - now-w-w." It was a moment I will always remember. It should not have surprised me, but it did. They were there, over my left shoulder I could see a faint light coming from the west at horizon level, getting noticeably brighter with each passing second. It seemed unreal. Could this be happening?
In the fashion of a Bob Newhart comedy routine it could have been made to sound humorous, e.g. - You are where? You say you are in the center of the Pacific in the middle of the night, at 43,000 feet, and you are going to photograph this space ship coming back from the moon, you see it now? etc.
The initial shock was over and I got back to business hurriedly because Apollo 8 was really moving. It was still bothering me however, that it was coming from just over the horizon. Some how coming from the moon I expected it to arrive from somewhere "up there" . The space craft was really getting bright. The sky began to light up as the command module separated from the service module. They arched apart much in the same manner as the old Roman candle fireworks tubes would send their discharged balls arching though the night.
It was difficult, but at that moment I had to quit being a spectator and get back to flying the airplane and commence the required right turn so as to keep the camera on the passing spacecraft. This necessary action caused me to miss the real spectacular of the service module breaking up with the attendant generation of light that turned night into day momentarily. All of the other crew members in the cockpit got to enjoy it however. The camera crew in the back of the plane became so fascinated with the big flash of the service module that they even centered the camera on it momentarily rather than on the command module which was our primary target.
I had started making my turn using the auto pilot but because I had become overly fascinated watching the spectacular light display or perhaps I simply underestimated the crossing speed (it wasn't a thing that you got to practice) I quickly realized that the maximum 38 degrees of bank that the auto pilot was providing was not going to give a sufficient rate of turn. I punched off the auto pilot and started increasing the bank.
Now at 43,000 feet that old girl did not have a lot left over and objected to that steep turn I was forcing her into. She let me know about it with a shudder or so. The crew was so fascinated with the whole show that I could have probably slow rolled it and they would not have noticed.
I was able to get off of the gauges again and followed visually its diminishing light into an eastern horizon that was just beginning to show the faintest indication of the coming day and the successful return of Apollo 8. It was a very memorable experience. I considered myself very fortunate to have been on the scene of such an eminently successful achievement; man returning from the moon for the first time. The fact that I had known Col. Borman, the Commander of the mission, when we were test pilots at Edwards AFB earlier in our careers, made the event even more meaningful.
Dear ARIA Friends,
Many of you may not get the Florida Today newspaper or one of its inserts, USA Weekend. They had an article this Sunday, in that insert, on free vacations in America. One of the destinations was the Air Force Museum in Dayton. They had a picture of 374 in the article on page 8. To see back issues, go to usaweekend.com or call 800-872-5178. They also have a convenient home delivery number, 877-424-0156. This particular weekend is for May 15-17. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I find it interesting that out of all the aircraft that the National Museum of the Air Force has it was a picture of ARIA 60-0374 that made it on USA Weekend. Chris Miller has sent a scan of the Las Cruces Sun-News version of USA weekend with the article. You can access the article in Adobe PDF format on flyARIA.com.
It has been a number of years since I have heard of any progress in getting ARIA 60-0374 under roof. If you have any information that you have on this issue please send me an update. Randy.Losey@ARIAMemorial.com
Remembering Aircraft 61-0311
I placed the first ARIA 328 memorial online in 1999 before there was a flyARIA.com or ARIAMemorial.com. It wasn't too long after the memorial went online that I received an email from Hawaii from a person wondering why I hadn't also included the other ARIA aircraft that crashed on 13 June 1971 on the web site. In my reply I told him that there was only one ARIA aircraft that had crashed; It took a few years for me to put it all together and make sense of the email.
The United States Air Force aircraft 61-0331 was a TRIA, Telemetry Range Instrumentation Aircraft, prior to the "Project III" conversion at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. 61-0331 was most likely included in the 11 ARIA photograph on flyARIA.com as it was configured prior to 1971 with the "Droop-Snoop" radome at Patrick Air Force Base Florida. 61-0331 operated as a TRIA from 1967 until its 1971 transfer from the Air Force Eastern Test Range to the 4950th Test Wing Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There were a total of 4 TRIA aircraft produced.
The most noticeable feature of the TRIA aircraft was the large radome mounted on the front of the aircraft. The TRIA shared this style radome with the ARIA, Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft. At the time the only major difference between the two Programs were that the TRIA aircraft were not equipped with voice communications for the Apollo Missions. There were a total of 8 ARIA aircraft produced.
LTV Corporation modified 61-0331 prior to arrival at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base by removing the TRIA nose and installing a large radome atop the fuselage for a new series of test designed to detect and analyze nuclear explosions and their related electromagnetic pulses (EMP).
The 4950th Test Wing operated 61-0331 for the Space and Missile System Office (SAMSO). The aircraft deployed routinely to the "Burning Light" Task Force located at Hickam Air Force Base Hawaii to monitor French atmospheric nuclear test conducted at their Center d'Experimentation du Pacifiqua (CEP) including Polynesian blast sites at Fangataufa and Mururoa Atols.
61-0331 disappeared on 13 June 1971 while returning to Hawaii after observing the French Encelade atmospheric nuclear test at Mururoa. The aircraft was enroute from Pago Pago to Hickam Air Force Base. All 24 crewmembers were lost, 12 of them civilians.
The publication History of the Miami Valley (1994) listed a few of the crew that was on 61-0331 and with the help of a fellow webmaster Christopher Freeze I was able to compile the complete crew list. I thought it would be fitting to include an online memorial for 61-0311 on the ARIAMemorial.com web site. Less than a week after the online memorial was posted I received an email from the son of one of the crew members. He told me that 61-0331 did not have a memorial in the memorial park at the National Museum of th Air Force. He came across the flyARIA.com web site looking for cold war history and was grateful of the online memorial for his father and the crew of 61-0331.
With the help Mike Mauro, Todd Efaw, and Christopher Freeze over at Check-Six.com we were able to bring together the information needed to place the 61-0331 memorial on ARIAMemorial.com. I want to thank everyone involved for without your help it would not have been possible.
June 13, 2009 marks the 38th anniversary of the crash of aircraft 61-0331. For the crew list and additional information go to http://ariamemorial.com/61-0331.html.
Remembering Demon 51: June 8, 2009
Air Force officials dedicated a memorial Jan. 13 at the Museum of Military History in Jacksonville, Ark., to the six airmen who perished in the crash of an Arkansas Air National Guard C-130 transport during a training flight June 8, 1988. The aircraft, assigned to the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock AFB, Ark., went down near Greenville, Miss., killing Maj. Andy Zwaan, 2nd Lt. Mark Brandt, 2nd Lt. Thomas Leece, MSgt. Ed Smith Jr., MSgt. Danny Holland, and SSgt. David Bingham. About 150 family members, friends, and current and former military members were on hand for the dedication to the crew of the aircraft, which had the call sign Demon 51. The memorial includes a plaque with the six airmen's photos and a single propeller blade from one of the aircraft's engines.
Submitted by Richard Beard
National Geographic's Big Bigger Biggest - Skylab
I have not been able to find out when the second season of Big Bigger Biggest will begin. I have contacted National Geographic but as of this writing have not received any information regarding the air date. I will forward the information as it becomes available.
Apollo 11 40th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion July 19-22 Canberra, Australia
John Saxon has organized the Apollo 11 40th Anniversary and Reunion. If you are interested in attending you can obtain the latest updates athttp://jsaxon.org/space/hsk/Reunions/40th2009/. You can also contact John directly at email@example.com.
May has been a difficult month for the ARIA web sites; it started with ARIAMemorial.com. Both sites were served from a datacenter located in Chicago, Illinois and have been relatively free from problems over the past 6 years. That was until ARIAMemorial.com was going down upwards to 40% of the time. flyARIA.com started to have issues with redirections when accessed through a Google search. Unfortunally, the problems existed outside of my control and the service provider was not able to remedy the problems permanently.
It was a difficult decision to move the sites to another service provider. The web sites are now served from a datacenter in Kansas and hopefully we will have an uneventful relationship with the provider.
I have configured the new server with the latest version of the operating system and web server. I have installed the highest security features and the system is monitored 24/7. The downside to this is that it is possible that some of you may not be able to access the sites do to your IP address being blacklisted. I use two independent services to provide information on known abusing IP addresses and this information is automatically updated daily throughout the day. Although this process eliminates a lot of problems it does have it's flaws. If you cannot access the ARIA sites please email me.
For those of you with a flyARIA.com email address email service was not affected.
Starting in July I will be sending out the ARIA Newsletter from the new mail server. This should cut down on a number of issues that I have been having sending out the newsletter. Since this is going to be the first time that the mail server is used please email me if you haven't received your copy of the newsletter.
The donation shopping cart has been updated to the latest release. This will require you to set up a new account when donating through the donation cart.
ARIA Wooden Model
Gerald R J Heuer has approached a vendor to produce a wooden model of A/RIA. If you are interested in purchasing a wooden model contact Gerald at firstname.lastname@example.org. The hope is to be able to get a quantity discount to reduce the cost from just purchasing a single model. Also, Gerald is still in need of pictures of the TRAP aircraft.
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I can be contacted through the ARIA Memorial web site or by Randy.Losey@ARIAMemorial.com. You can also use this email address to submit information to be included into the ARIA Newsletter.