Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk joined the preparations of the 2014 Market Garden Parajump at Eindhoven Airbase, the Netherlands, on Saturday 20 September 2014.
A historic Douglas C-47 Skytrain (Dakota) and modern-day C-130 Hercules aircraft were taking hundreds of modern day airborne assault troops up for a jump over Ginkel Heath (Ginkelse Heide) near the city of Arnhem, commmemorating the 1944 attempt to capture the strategic bridge over the river Rhine and to liberate the Netherlands from Nazi-Germany.
The weather was a bit foggy to start with, but conditions improved during the day. Dennis started early in the day feeding us with some quick smartphone camera work (see “the B-roll” at the bottom of this page) he loved to share with you.
Due to the still foggy weather not all aircraft went airborne: a Royal Air Force C-130, a Belgian Air Component C-130 and two German Air Force Transalls let their engines run for a long time without leaving the ground. Later the RAF and BAC Hercs did take-off.
But the US Air Force & Air National Guard plus the Royal Netherlands Air Force did go into the blue yonder for the mass drop over Ginkel Heath in the municipality of Ede – following a first jump by 25 paras from the Skytrain (Dakota) – with 60,000 spectators on the ground at the field. Make sure to read Airheadsfly.com commemorates Market Garden as well.
UPDATE 11 MARCH 2014 | About 250 Russian IL-76 strategic airlifters plan to make a combined total of 4,000 parajump sorties in March, says the Russian Ministry of Defence in a press release on 6 March 2014. The release contains more big numbers that we at AIRheads↑Fly frankly think are quite impressive if Russia manages to pull them off.
One of the units involved is the 98th Guards Airborne Division out of Ivanovo near Moscow, which will do its training ops from 11 to 14 March. The unit will take part in one massive jump of 3,500 troopers, plus some combat vehicles, for which about 36 transport aircraft have been allocated to the unit.
The Airborne Troops Command (VDV for Vozdushno-desantnye voyska or in Russian Воздушно-десантные войска) is planning a total of 40,000 jumps by 17,000 troops from 40 units. Part of the operations will be done in the Arctics.
The troops will jump with equipment and weaponry. The IL-76s involved will likely be a mixture of those of the Russian Air Force (Военно-воздушные cилы России or Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily Rossii) and national carrier Aeroflot.