Video 439 added on 2007-12-31: Video Type: Crash Aircraft: Lockheed YMC-130 Views: 6872 Uploaded by: ATFS_Crash
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Operation Credible Sport was a United States military operation plan in late 1980 to rescue the hostages held in Iran using C-130 cargo planes modified with rocket engines. The Credible Sport operation was a new plan to rescue the hostages after the dramatic failure of Operation Eagle Claw. Eagle Claw failed when a C-130 Hercules and a Sea Stallion helicopter collided in the Iranian desert, killing 8 servicemen. Credible Sport was abandoned after the election of Ronald Reagan as President in November, 1980.
The Credible Sport plan called for highly modified C-130 Hercules cargo planes to land in a soccer stadium not far from the American Embassy in Tehran and airlift the hostages out. Three aircraft were modified under a top secret project at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida to YMC-130H configuration with rocket packages blistered onto the forward and aft fuselage, which theoretically enabled the planes to land and take off within the confines of the sports arena.
During a demonstration at Wagner Field Not Duke Field, Eglin Auxiliary Field 3, on October 29, 1980, one of the modified Hercules landed very heavily. Some reports are that the (forward facing) braking rockets fired a few seconds early; it has also been reported that the problem was with the failure of the (downward facing) descent arresting rockets. As a result, the aircraft suffered an extremely heavy landing, tearing off the starboard wing, setting off a fire, and resulting in the airframe, serial 74-1683, being written off. Despite this, the entire crew survived.
This failure, coupled with the defeat of Jimmy Carter by Ronald Reagan in the presidential election on November 4, 1980, led to the cancellation of this rescue mission plan. The hostages were subsequently released concurrent with Reagan's inauguration in January 1981.
The other two airframes, serials 74-1686 and 74-2065, were stripped of their rocket modifications and returned to regular airlift duties. In 1988 74-1686 was placed on display at the Robins Air Force Base museum, Georgia, still retaining its JATO hard-points and surrounding thermo-insulating paint. As of February 2008, 74-2065 is assigned to the 317th Airlift Group, 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in grey scheme with blue tailband.