Sitting watching a huge container ship in the glide up the Savannah River toward the Port of Savannah, Georgia, gave me a new perspective on container ships… They are HUGE. They make shipping containers look like Legos.
A friendly visitor seated next to me talked about how the Corps of Engineers was dredging the river to accommodate the new super containers ships that would soon be able to pass through the widened Panama Canal.
A little research made me again marvel the inter-connectivity of our world. Currently, most of the goods shipped to the US from Asia go to a West Cost port. They are then offloaded and moved inland via truck or rail. Once the Panama Canal is widened shipping rates to the East Coast will be reduced because the new ships can carry about twice as many containers. This will mean that containers destined for Memphis or Chicago may actually transit Panama and make port in Savannah or Charleston.
Wow… a “little” change about 1600 miles away can have a major effect on business activity here.
In December 2014, I got a text message from one of our military students, a U.S. Army pilot stationed in Korea, that he was ferrying a plane from Korea to the East Coast, and had scheduled an overnight rest stop over in Louisville. He knew that I had an interest in aviation and invited me to Louisville International airport to tour the plane. (I must confess that I suspected the he had the ulterior motive of confirming that I was a really person, not just a bot teaching his online courses.)
Come to find out, the plane was a decommissioned Beechcraft King Air, known to the Army as an RC-12H. Before he arrived, I did some online research to find out more about the plane and found some pictures of this King Air with about a ‘gazillion’ antennae protruding from every surface… clearly this plane had a mission to “listen” to something.
RC-12H in military configuration
The plane that I got to tour had all of the electronic eavesdropping device and antennae removed. The primary content inside the plane were the standard cockpit instruments and auxiliary fuel tanks.
Come to find out, that very plane made the news when it was airlifted to an Army Depot located in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Here is the story of the final flight of this plane: To view the news story, click this link.
Video of Airlift of RC-12H to its final destination.
I wanted to thank our student for including me in this adventure.
I also want to thank all of our military students for their service to this great country of ours!