Hercules C-130 For more than 35 years the relationship between Yitzhak Nevo, a technician in the Aerospace Industry, and the Hercules C-130 plane has been blossoming. This year, Nevo was chosen to judge the “Rodeo” world championship of the Tactical Transport Formation. “It was unbelievably fun”, he tells the IAF website
The Rodeo is an international competition for tactical transport planes from different armies, that’s conducted by the United States Transportation Command. Once in two years, Air Force representatives from all over the world arrive at McCord Base, where they meet, shake hands, and mostly show off new skills that they’ve developed since the previous competition.
The last Rodeo marked the win of the “Best Hercules C-130 Air Crew” by the IAF’s “Nevatim” base. This year, IAF squadrons didn’t participate in the competition, and yet Israel still sent a dignified representative to the U.S: Yitzhak Nevo, a former technician in the “Elephants” squadron, now works in the Aerospace industry and hopes to work with the new Hercules J planes in the future.
“I think I was the most operational-minded person in the technical flight formation”, he muses proudly in retrospect. “There wasn’t one activity that the technical formation took part in, that I wasn’t a part of myself: whether it be the Ethiopian Jews immigration from Africa to Israel, or bringing back the planes that got stuck in various places in the world safely”.
At the rodeo this year, Nevo got to meet technical teams from all over the world: Swedes, Spaniards, South Koreans, Saudi Arabians, Pakistanis, and Belgians-who, as a matter of fact, took first place. “The competition is divided into two stages, on ground and in the air”, he explains. “In the beginning, the crew members need to examine the plane before the flight, refuel it, and exhibit other maintenance skills. In the air they need to parachute forces and cargo, pass through waypoints in the sky, and finally execute a perfect landing.
I was a member of the team that judged Hercules C-130 planes. Along with three other Americans, I examined the contestants’ work and the explanations given, although we only had an hour to check the plane every time. Because these planes had no voltage, we had to work in the dark”.
In addition to the flight crew members, judges took spots in the cockpit and fuselage in order to examine air crew members and cargo-loading inspectors. And lest we forget: one of the most creative trophies given in the competition went to a unique flight crew set that is not to be underestimated-the stewards.