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C-17 to star on television show

Mighty Planes on Discovery airs next spring

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JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AFNS) - The show Mighty Planes took aim at a new plane, the C-17 Globemaster III, and the Discovery Channel was here to film the versatile cargo plane from Sept. 20 to Sept. 26.

"The whole show Mighty Planes is exactly what it is, it's planes that are ‘mighty;' that are big," said Stephen Grant, the director of the Mighty Planes feature on the C-17. "We have done planes that chase hurricanes, planes that supply medical aid, but the C-17, much like the C-5 Galaxy, is larger than life and people don't get to see those every day."

Grant said the maneuverability of the Globemaster III impressed him.

"The thing that blew me away is a plane that big can be that nimble in the air - we went up there and we had 75 paratroopers, and it seemed it could turn on a dime," Grant said.

"When that thing accelerated over the mountains, you could feel it and it was awesome."

The Discovery Channel crew worked with many different people from throughout the 3rd Wing, but worked especially close with members of the 517th Airlift Squadron.

Grant said the members of the 3rd Wing went out of their way to support his crew's mission.

"The guys here were fantastic," Grant said.

It seemed unanimous that the Discovery crew enjoyed the air-to-air refueling of the C-17 Globemaster III.

"One of the highlights for me on the C-17 was to witness the air-to-air refueling, to be able to be so close to the other aircraft and to get that kind of access to shoot through the cockpit windows was absolutely incredible," said Chris Gargus, a freelance cameraman from Exploration Production Incorporated, Discovery Channel.

Gargus said he is confident fans of the Discovery Channel will love the finished product when it finally airs.

"I think that there are a lot of options when you watch television," Gargus said. "But the people who are interested in this type of broadcast, the Discovery fans, are going to eat this stuff up."

The story behind the C-17 is what hooks people, he said.

"For me, standing on the back of the door when they open up the gate and seeing the land just displayed before you; that is pretty exhilarating and that energy and excitement comes right through the lens and right through to your living room," Gargus said. "I know I felt it and I am sure the viewer will."

The episode featuring the C-17 is tentatively scheduled to air in the spring.

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