High winds force paratroopers to cancel training in Vienna

Local News

The Youngstown Warren Regional Airport was closed until the mission was called off

VIENNA, Ohio (WYTV) – The 910th Airlift Wing was scheduled to drop 18 paratroopers, six at a time, for a training mission on Friday. Unfortunately, it was too windy and they had to cancel.

The wind was around 25 knots. One C-130 plane made numerous trips around, hoping the wind would calm.

“The winds aren’t looking favorable. We have a wind restriction of 13 knots for the jumpers, which is usually safety,” said Operations Commander Jeff Shaffer.

Liberty High School grad Lt. Eric Wolf has seen the planes fly his entire life. Friday was the first time he was part of the training as a navigator.

“We have specific limitations to make sure everything is safe. We’re dropping real personnel today so that’s a big thing for us, is the safety issue,” he said.

The drop zone on the airfield was certified in 2017. Normally, these practice missions are done in Ravenna, which has a smaller drop zone. This one gives more leeway when dropping personnel.

“The first flight always makes me nervous until you get the gist of things,” said Senior Airman Kaleb Walker. “What’s really going on in the back, not just what the book is telling you.”

The airport was closed until the mission was called off because of the winds.

Wolf and Walker have requirements to fulfill for dropping personnel and so does Shaffer.

“I know everybody sees those big green Army planes flying around. We’re actually training for those situations we would do in combat. Low-level routes to an airdrop,” Shaffer said.

Friday’s mission was just to drop personnel. The C-130 can fly over 300 miles per hour and carry around 40,000 pounds.

The 910th has flown around the world, dropping humvees, personnel carries and other vital supplies to U.S. troops.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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