Soldier aids troubled flight

Published 8:21 am Friday, July 2, 2010

Got word this week from Lt. Col. Maurice E. Young of Franklin, who recently was involved with an emergency landing in Iraq.

Young wrote that he was with the C-130H Hercules crew from 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, which overcame the aircraft’s multiple mechanical problems to safely land with 34 passengers on June 9.

The plane was dispatched from Joint Base Balad to transport passengers on a 30-minute flight from Baghdad International Airport to Erbil, Iraq. After the 12,000-foot climb out of Baghdad, a hydraulic leak was reported to the aircraft commander.

Several gallons of the caustic fluid sprayed into the cabin before the co-pilot could shut off the pumps. The crew helped passengers don emergency oxygen hoods to protect their eyes and respiratory system.

Young, a flight surgeon from the 55th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, provided first aid to passengers.

The aircrew determined the leak was from the primary hydraulic system, which operates the landing gear, flaps, brakes and nose wheel steering, as well as providing half of the flight-control power, yet was able to land.

Assigned to the 610th Aerospace Medicine Flight, a reserve medical unit at Langley Air Force Base, Young is based at Joint Base Balad in Iraq. He responded to the 55th Fighter Squadron’s request for a flight surgeon during their Iraq deployment. He is a former employee of OB/GYN Physicians in Franklin.

n Tyler Croak chose to nurture a zucchini in his family’s garden in Capron in hopes of seeing how big it would grow.

His efforts fell by the wayside after his sister accidentally picked the zucchini. At the time, it was 14½ inches long and weighed 5.2 pounds. Tyler said he planned to use it for zucchini bread.

n In other gardening news, a flower garden planted from seeds at East Pavilion in Franklin has bloomed. Resident Violet Albertson likes cutting fresh flowers and making arrangements for the tables at the nursing home.