Tired Tankers’ Final Rest

Air Force Reserve Command’s 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick AFB, Fla., recently retired its last legacy HC-130 King search and rescue support aircraft, the unit announced. The unit’s six heavily used HC-130P/N airframes were grounded last year due to corrosion and would have required an expensive and time-consuming depot-level overhaul to continue in service, AFRC leadership acknowledged. The aircraft will be back-filled by less-worn HC-130s made available by the ongoing recapitalization of the Active Duty fleet with new-build HC-130J Combat King IIs, according to a unit release. “We are excited about receiving our newer [slightly used] aircraft and making them a part of the family,” said 920th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander Maj. Stephen Young. The last of Patrick’s former fleet, serial number 65-00976, departed for the boneyard after several hours’? delay to replace an engine on Sept. 9, 2015. The aircraft accumulated more than 16,000 flight hours before retiring to storage.