18 January 2012

Pima Air Museum C-123K Confirmed as Spray Bird

Tail 54-0580, Pima Air Museum
Visiting Tucson's famous Pima Air Museum yesterday, I checked out their C-123K. Turns out it is Tail #54-0580, a former Hanscom and Westover bird. After retirement to the Boneyard it ended up with the Forest Service which has loaned it to Pima. The Agent Orange spray pipes are obvious between the engines and the fuselage...it is a spray bird after all!

Leaving the museum I was surprised to see a C-123 tail sticking up among a forest of Navy S-2s in a commercial aviation junk yard. The guys there drove me out to discover that it was another Westover bird, confirmed not by the ID plate (missing) but by the radio card (click for photo) which had its tail number #54-0706 penciled in, which we recovered from the cockpit. No wings, no wheels, and a tired old bird not likely to ever fly again! The owner sells parts off, such as the yoke and foot pedals, to collectors.

BTW, last week's visit to Warner-Robins' Museum of Aviation to see their spray C-123K brought no new information. I was told that the base Bioenvironmental Engineers controlled access to the aircraft but those folks said they knew nothing about it. A museum staffer was very knowledgeable about the provenience of this plane, detailing to me its various assignments and depot maintenance in nearby Dotham, Alabama by a contractor. One new point...the bench for weary travelers to rest upon is no longer directly below the spray pipes...it has been moved beneath another aircraft!

1 comment:

  1. What about c-130 they should be the same they did the same job, mostly carried agent orange into air ports


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