Kabul: Boeing 727 three-holer evacuated THREE hundred thirty people in one flight... Plus other flights...

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Re: Kabul: Boeing 727 three-holer evacuated THREE hundred thirty people in one flight... Plus other flights...

Post by Stratofreighter »

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/4 ... abbey-gate
AUGUST 31, 2021

Thanks to a wonderful story by Erika Gibson of South Africa's Mail and Guardian,
we learned the backstory on this most interesting of participants in the tumultuous aerial evacuation of Afghanistan.
At the time, Steyl, his crew, and their 727, which carries the Kenyan registration number 5Y-IRE and is aptly nicknamed Irene,
were forward based out of neighboring Kulob, Tajikistan.
In the past, they had supported what was a relatively steady drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan
before the final dangerous push out of Kabul, which fell to the Taliban on August 15th.

Steyl told the Mail and Guardian:

“We received a desperate call from the US state department’s officials in Kabul
after the suicide bombing attack on Thursday night
asking whether we would be willing to assist with mercy flights...

The urgency became critical to evacuate a group of Afghan special forces and their families.

They have been assisting the US forces in the country for many years.
As such, they would certainly have been killed by the Taliban as they are seen as traitors"
It only took just 40 minutes to load up 308 people onto the cargo-configured 727,
which would normally carry between a half and a third of that load during the type's career as an airliner.

Steyl recounted the following about the flight to the Mail and Guardian:

“We expected a haggard group but were pleasantly surprised by the well-spoken and neatly dressed group –
despite them being holed up in a warehouse under trying conditions for a week.
It was humbling to experience the sheer relief and appreciation from their side that we came in time to save them.”
On the second trip, they had to stop all movement on the ground at Kabul
and could not load and depart quickly because U.S. forces
were executing a departure ceremony for the 13 Americans who died during the bombing at Abbey Gate.

Once cleared to load and leave, the second flight saw 329 souls :!: packed aboard the old 727.

All of the refugees were taken back to Tajikistan where they would wait in a tent community
until a further airlift arranged by the U.S. government
could move them on to other locations once the evacuation of Kabul was complete.

The passengers didn't even know where they were when they landed,
they were just happy to be out of Afghanistan and away from the Taliban.
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/4 ... abbey-gate
has even more....
:roll: :loud: :|
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