C-17 pilot says ‘Happy 4th’ with flyover of Columbus home

Published 1:04 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Three generations of Hermans got an early July 4 present Thursday afternoon.

It was delivered by the youngest, Capt. Kristopher Herman, a U.S. Air Force pilot flying a C-17 Globemaster III long-range, heavy cargo plane to his father, Ron Herman and grandfather Jim Herman.

En route to completing a training flight out of Oklahomas Altus Air Force Base, the youngest Herman flew close enough to his fathers home on Fox Mountain Road in Columbus to do a low fly-over as a salute to his father and grandfather just prior to the holiday weekend.

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It made me a little proud lets put it that way, said Jim Herman. It was a little bit of a surprise. (Kristopher) called his father (Ron) yesterday and then he called me.

Capt. Herman flew supply missions in the C-17 during the Iraqi war and is now training other pilots on the operation of the C-17. He recently received the U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service for his duties with the 16th Aiflift Squadron out of Charleston, S.C.

The plane, which measures nearly 174 feet in length with a 170-foot, 9-inch wingspan and weighs 269,000 pounds empty, could hardly go unnoticed by locals at low altitude.

The Polk County Sheriffs Department fielded several calls about the low-flying plane, but Ron Herman had alerted the department early Thursday morning.

Ive been into town and a lot of people were wondering whats going on, Ron said.

According to globalaircraft.org, during normal testing the C-17 set 22 world records, including payload to altitude time-to-climb and the short takeoff and landing mark.

(In training) they have to do a lot of low flying or whatever, so I guess (Kristopher) figured hed try one on us, and we kind of enjoyed it, Jim said.