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    Hey John

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    willowbilly3

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    Join date : 2010-01-30

    Hey John

    Post by willowbilly3 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:53 pm

    I had kind of lost track of Hawkins and Powers over the years. Seems like I heard one of then got killed. Catching up, I see they were forced into solvency in 2005. Last summer as I was coming through Greybull, I saw several of the planes still sitting there. Are those now the assets of the local museum? Odd that it seems a couple crashes grounded the aging aircraft but many seem to had been bought by other similar companys.
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    hardtailjohn

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    Join date : 2010-02-04

    Re: Hey John

    Post by hardtailjohn on Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:10 pm

    Yah, the final straw was the PB4y that the wings came off. It was a really bad deal, and it was captured on film even... such a sad thing. When the NTSB started investigating, almost all the vintage tankers had problems. Too much riding hard and putting up wet. Neptune had problems with their P2V's as well...main wing spars were cracking in a very hidden location, and were about to fail... thankfully none did before they caught it! One of my friends was a captain on one and sitting in Rapid City if I remember, when he got the call and grounded the one he was flying. When they inspected it, there were BIG problems that you couldn't see unless you were looking just right at the right spot. At any rate, they were down almost a month right there...no ferry flight to maintenance...just fix it NOW!
    All of the tanker services are trying to get to newer stuff...even jets. The older military stuff is nearing the end of it's working life it seems. Even the C-130's. It'll be interesting in the next few years to see what direction it goes...the single engine tankers and helicopters are really great at getting just where they need to be, but there is no substitute for sheer volume, thus the DC-10 that's hauling slurry. It's a big bucks game now.
    I think the remaining planes of HP are all the museum's now...I'm not sure. That seems to be the talk that comes out of the firebomber group on Facebook. If you want to see some really cool pictures, check out that group!
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    willowbilly3

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    Re: Hey John

    Post by willowbilly3 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:10 pm

    Makes you wonder how much longer all the Beavers and Otters can soldier on in Ak. and Canada. I used to watch those beavers take off all day long from Willow Lake and barely clear the trees they were so heavy. I sure miss the sound of those R-950s at full tilt,lol.
    I looked at the prices that the H&P planes brought. Seems like they went for peanuts. Funny thing is they still have websites up with contact info. Here's one with some good pictures of the planes.
    http://www.ruudleeuw.com/greybull.htm
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    willowbilly3

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    Re: Hey John

    Post by willowbilly3 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:01 pm

    After reading a lot of that and other links, it is amazing they didn't have more wrecks. One of the C130s they lost in Cali. 2002 had the wings break off and upon investigation the plane apparently didn't exist for a decade or two, presumable flying covert with CIA so instead of the recorded 3000 hours on the airframe, it might have had 20,000. Also H&P swapped parts around so much that many planes seem to have lost their original identitys, even having 2 different planes with the same N number. Interesting stuff for sure.
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    hardtailjohn

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    Re: Hey John

    Post by hardtailjohn on Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:10 am

    I got to work on the C-97 when I was there in '85. One cool aircraft!!!!!! I'd love to go spend some time going through their boneyard... there's some really cool and rare stuff out there...or at least there used to be!
    Here's a video/song about the end of the old tankers... Tanker 123 and it's wing departing.... sad sad deal. One guy I knew was looking to go to HP and fly a PB4Y that year, but stayed at Neptune instead, planning on being there the next season... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5uHSezeB9k
    You should check out the firebombers group on Facebook...there's some awesome pictures on there!!!

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