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Tue, Sep 16, 2003

Last Flight For USAF C-9 Nightingale 'Lifesaver'

Final Take Off Before Hitting the Bone Yard...

A C-9 Nightingale from the 30th Airlift Squadron in Yokota Air Base, Japan has taken off for the final time Sept. 14 on its way to the "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

The Nightingale, which served as the premier medical-evacuation aircraft for the Air Force for 35 years, was retired in July. The 30th AS will deactivate Sept. 25. In 2002, the 30th AS accumulated more than 3,200 flying hours during 1,280 sorties, while airlifting more than 10,300 patients and passengers in the Pacific region.

The C-9A Nightingale is a twin-engine, T-tailed, medium-range, swept-wing jet aircraft that was used primarily for the Air Mobility Command's aeromedical evacuation mission. The C-9C was used to transport high-ranking government and Department of Defense officials for special air missions.

The C-9A Nightingale was a modified version of the Boeing Company's DC-9. It was the only aircraft in the inventory specifically designed for the movement of litter and ambulatory patients. The C-9A's airlift capability to carry 40 litter patients or 40 ambulatory and four litter patients, or combinations of those, provided flexibility for AMC's worldwide aeromedical evacuation role. [ANN Thanks Master Sgt. Val Gempis for the photo]



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