Discovery Channel eyes Globemaster

Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 00:47
Crews were on base filming ‘Mighty Plane’
A C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane sets off flares during the 3rd Wing “war day,” Sept. 21, 2012. The Discovery Channel is going to feature the C-17 on a future episode of “Mighty Planes” and was here on Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson filming.

The show “Mighty Planes” took aim at a new plane in the C-17 Globemaster III, and the Discovery Channel was on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to film the versatile cargo plane last month.

“The whole show Mighty Planes is exactly what it is, it’s planes that are ‘mighty;’ that are big,” said Stephen Grant, 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 personnel from all throughout the 3rd Wing, but worked especially close with members of the 517th Airlift Squadron.

“The guys here were fantastic,” Grant said. “The access was incredible, everybody bent over backwards, everyone was super friendly, everybody went out of their way to help us, they respected the fact we had a job we had to do and they gave us such incredible access and that was awesome and that’s what we need in a show like this because we need to show people what it is like behind the scenes.”

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

“The most interesting and exciting I have ever shot, and I have been all over the world shooting things like this, was the mid-air refueling,” Grant said. “The fact that you have two large airplanes within 15 feet of each other just blew me away.”

“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, freelance cameraman from Exploration Production Incorporated, Discovery Channel.

Although there isn’t a definite time when this episode will air, Grant’s best guess would be in the spring.

Gargus 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, but the people who are interested in this type of broadcast, the Discovery fans, are going to eat this stuff up,” Gargus said.

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.”

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