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Why were huge military planes flying over the Piedmont today?

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We received several calls and emails today about low-flying military planes over the Piedmont around lunchtime.

According to the Fort Bragg Public Affairs Office, the 440th Airlift Wing conducted an ‘elephant walk’ and airborne operation on Thursday. The exercise was a joint exercise with Fort Bragg and Pope Air Field.

Eight C-130’s dropped a static line and HALO (high altitude low opening) paratroopers onto the Pope Field flightline in a rare airborne operation, the office said.

Prior to take-off, the C-130’s conducted an ‘elephant walk’ around the flightline, which includes the Piedmont.

An elephant walk is a procession of a unit’s aircraft on the airfield right before takeoff, often before a minimum interval takeoff.

The exercise is not related to Robin Sage exercises that are expected to continue across the Piedmont through April 22.


  • Ron Speaks (@wRaldri)

    This doesn’t sound like the same thing that I have seen just a few days ago…and that is these huge cargo planes actually taking off from PTI…or at least doing touch and goes. Anybody know about the other flights?

  • Gil Stafford(Retired Military)

    Sorry but there is no more POPE Airfield, it is now

    FORT BRAGG AAF(Army Airfield).. most of the C130s are flown by
    Reserve Pilots… Could be lead up too Operation for Green Berets
    next month

    • RhythmWalker1

      Yep, The Patriot Act opened the door to such things, maybe we should be spening billions to repeal that instead of the ACA Act.

      • Thomas Christopher

        At least the Patriot Act isn’t cleaning out my bank account, reducing access to adequate doctors and health care, and potentially shortening my life. Plus, with no terror attacks on American soil post-9/11/01 (until the fall of 2009 at Fort Hood), those billions were well spent, unless of course you are one of those lunatic fringe that believe that September 11th was an “inside job”.

      • mojorisin73

        Hey Thomas, I wouldn’t call people who question 9/11 “lunatics”, they are many who are no longer “sheep” like yourself that is standing up and questioning what happened and who was really behind the attacks. You can start by taking a look at WTC7 which mysteriously collapsed on its own without anything hitting it and the news footage that went along with it. Stop believing the lies.

  • Sherri (Army wife to a retired soldier)

    LOL…I hear you. Try living in the flight path for both “Pope” and Simmons AAF.

  • patty mcbride

    I saw heard them before I saw them..I looked out my front window and they were so low I could see the whole under belly clearly….

    • Autism mom

      “The Jerk” name fits you properly because you are using a very offensive word “THE R WORD” especially when there are people who looks at this that have a child with multiple disabilities. I guess it shows how intelligent you are yourself!

    • Kill The Poor

      They couldn’t find her because Will Grant was the pilot and Frank Sinner was the navigator. With the combined redneck knowledge between them, it’s a wonder how they ever could have failed.

  • Bryan

    The C-5 Galaxy is the large transport aircraft. They do touch and goes at PTI every other month or so. Air Force One does the same thing. Some C-130s also touch and go at PTI. Touch and go is a training flight where they come in for a landing and take off again. They will do this several times before flying to another airport to do it again.

  • Stella

    There was also a lot of low flying military plane flying around pinnacle 2 weeks ago went right over my home there were 9 of them flying low…everything in my home was shaking

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