C17 at RAF Gibraltar with Rock

C-17 Globemaster III And The Crucial Role It Plays At RAF Gibraltar

The C-17 Globemaster III delivered a cargo of exercise and operational freight

C17 at RAF Gibraltar with Rock

Military personnel in Gibraltar rely on regular deliveries from RAF aircraft which bring valuable equipment to support operations.

Emily Loxton from Forces Radio BFBS Gibraltar caught up with the crew of a C-17 just after they landed and spoke to the captain of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Matt Lloyd from 99 Squadron. 

You can listen to the audio in the clip below.

The plane was on the ground in Gibraltar for just two hours, delivering a cargo of exercise and operational freight before flying back to RAF Brize Norton with a return load.

It was Flt Lt Lloyd’s first landing in Gibraltar, an achievement which he described as his “white whale”.

Interior of C17 Gibraltar unloading freight

The C-17 Globemaster III is known for its incredible cargo lifting capacity and the aircraft can fly with a maximum weight of 595,000lbs.

“A Chinook… just rolls straight on the back”

Normally the plane can carry just over 50 passengers but there are cases when the plane can take many more.

“We’ve had refugees or in the event of an evacuation we’ve had them literally strapped down to the floor and we can just get on as many as we can in those sort of situations.”

RAF C-17 Gibraltar

The aircraft’s design allows it to operate on small airfields and runways as short as 3,500ft.

Even so, landing on Gibraltar’s unique runway can present some challenges for the pilot.

“It’s quite tricky… landing at Gibraltar because the runway is so short and with the Rock as well… that creates quite a lot of turbulence.”

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