C5 Sighting

Today as I headed home down the 840, my daughter rubber necked around from her car seat and yelled out, “Plane!”

It was far away still.  It had completed a turn and was heading away from us.  I was entering an intersection, so I assumed it was the 130 that usually drills in our air space and thought nothing much of it.

A half hour later my husband and I set our sights on the bank now located inside of Griffiss “Technology Park.”  As we turned onto the on ramp to the now realigned Air Force Base I saw the plane once again.  Much closer.  Much Bigger.  My husband, the civilian asked, “Isn’t that a C5?”

I interrupted the day dream I was locked in and glared out the truck window at the large bird in the sky.


“Isn’t she amazing?” I responded.


“Of course,” I told him….doesn’t he know that planes are always women?   Who else could drop that kind of payload, carry that much in supplies…. or that many men! for that matter and look so amazingly beautiful doing it, right?

He parked when we arrived and ran inside to do the banking.  I waited in the truck with the window down.  She had come along side us a few minutes earlier as she flew the path over the flight line, and headed north.  I sat and listened as I sent a friend a text message.

Far off…very far away still, I heard her engine.  It was such a gentle hum.  A sound I have not heard in years, but somehow it instantly felt like home.

Moments later my husband was climbing back in the cab and the C5 was making it’s return approach.  We headed down Ellsworth and sadly without any security issue any longer in place, we turned onto Perimeter Road heading up realigned SAC Hill.  The C5 still in sight.

I watched as it flew out over Marcy, turn North East back towards Griffiss, and as we drove down Rt. 365 she flew right across our nose!  My husband worried we’d crash while he watched in amazement.  Me?  I scrambled for my cell phone to take a photo!

WHAT?  WHY?  I grew up surrounded by these beasts!!

It wasn’t like that.  I wasn’t a civilian getting a cheap AF Thrill.  Instead, I knew I wanted to get a picture to send my dad quickly with my cell so that he would know she was in back in town.

As we parted paths this afternoon…the over sized cargo plane headed in one direction and us in the other, it took all my power to not tear up and cry like a baby in front of my husband who would surely never understand the feelings that were racing through my inner child.

Oh how she misses her protectors.  Her guardians constantly drilling over head…the birds that used to shake the walls of our home.

I see a lot of old friends in odd places, but none make me feel more nostalgic or more heavy in my heart then seeing some of our most loyal and truest of first loves.

Today was a pretty cool day.

Now if I could only get a B-52 to do a fly-by!

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