The ski-equipped C-130D of the 17th TAS provides the only means of support for the DYE 2 and DYE 3 radar sites on the Greenland Ice Cap. Ice fog, low clouds, and frequent high winds that constantly rearrange the landing surface are serious hazards to this operation. Normal ski take-off procedures require that lift-off be accomplished 15 knots below minimum control speed and 25 knots below power off stall speed. Therefore, the official flight handbook states that normal safety factors must be disregarded and ski operations be considered a calculated risk.

The aircraft frequently encounters 2 to 3 G forces during the take-off slide. Summer snow conditions create a cohesive bond and often require numerous take-off attempts, eventually with JATO, before becoming airborne. Further complications result from the loss of approximately 25% of the engines power at the 8,000 foot level altitude of these sites. Photo courtesy of the 109th Tactical Airlift Group, New York Air National Guard. (Text by Edward M. Holley - Firebird Pilot - 1967)