Flight Blog

Aug 22 2011 Farewell to Betsy BY sgf-adminTAGS History


Squat and bulky....there's no getting around it—this plane looks like a box kite with wings. The men who've maintained it sometimes call her Old Betsy.

Old Betsy sits on the ramp the morning at The National Guard Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot at the Springfield aiport

Old Betsy sits on the ramp this morning at The National Guard Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot at the Springfield aiport.

Old Betsy is a C-23 Sherpa. This morning the Missouri Army National Guard held a formal retirement ceremony for Betsy. She's been based at our airport since since it was flown here from the factory in Belfast, Ireland in 1989.

Old Betsy is a light cargo/passenger plane. Prop driven, she has a top speed of 218 mph. May not sound like much of a military plane, but she was deployed to the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. While in Iraq the Betsy earned another sort of nickname:  "The aircraft that can."

C-23 Sherpas spent their days in Iraq carrying critical supplies—sometimes flying low and fast to avoid detection: 200 mph, 100 feet above the ground. According to military.com Congress bought 12 C-23s in the 1980s. "The Army tried using them, then handed them to the National Guard. Congress bought a total of 44 for the Guard after they proved effective in moving people and cargo in the United States." This morning the plane was flown to San Antonio before being transferred or retired. The Guard expects to retire all C-23 Sherpa by 2014.





Old Betsy receives a water canon salute from Aircraft Rescue Firefighters



Aug 09 2011 Could This Be The Start of Something? BY sgf-adminTAGS Airlines


We've found a bright spot in all the wretched economic news: the price of oil is going down...way down. The Associated Press reports that on Tuesday the price of oil fell to its lowest price in almost a year in European trading. Until now, oil prices have been about 50 percent higher than they were a year ago. It's the main reason airline fares have been so high lately. Read more from the Associated Press, via Airport Business. Let's hope oil prices stay low and that air fares come down!

Aug 01 2011 American Airlines Hopes for Merger BY sgf-adminTAGS American

"Thomas W. Horton, the president of the AMR Corporation, told The Times of London that he hopes to see a merger of his company with the International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways and Iberia." Read the rest of the story from the New York Times.


Jul 26 2011 Smack Down! Jesse Ventura vs. TSA BY sgf-adminTAGS TSA


"It started with Jesse Ventura's titanium hip and turned into a fight over the Bill of Rights. In federal court in St. Paul on Friday, a lawyer for the former governor argued that rules implemented by the Transportation Security Administration - which subject Ventura to pat-down body searches when he flies - violate his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable and unwarranted searches. The TSA's rules were "issued in secret, (were) never published (and) can be changed at any time, in secret," attorney David Bradley Olsen told U.S. District Judge Susan Rogers Nelson." Read the rest of the story from the Pioneer-Press.


Jul 19 2011 The New Airline Economy BY sgf-adminTAGS Airlines


"Airlines say that simple economics are driving them out of small-town America." That sentence, buried way down deep in the story, sums up the state of air service in "small-town America." Read the rest of the story from the New York Times. Read a previous blog entry on the New Airline Economy.