Hero of Kabul: USAF pilot flies out 640 Afghans on C-17 cargo jet designed to carry just 150

The C-17 jet was sent to escort US embassy personnel out of Kabul but terrified Afghan civilians ran onboard wanting out of their war-torn nation

                            Hero of Kabul: USAF pilot flies out 640 Afghans on C-17 cargo jet designed to carry just 150
Afghans flying out of Kabul aboard C-17 Globemaster III after Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan

The world is currently witnessing the downfall of Afghanistan as the top politicians, including President Ashraf Ghani, fled the country as the Taliban took over. The Islamist militant group has overrun most of the country and people who are aware of their brutal laws went into a state of utter panic after the takeover. The US along with other counties has been running rescue operations to escort embassy officials and residents out of the war-torn country. During one such rescue op from US aboard a C-17 flight, the pilot flew out 640 Afghans out from Hamid Karzai International Airport on a plane that was only designed to carry 150. 

The C-17, numbered RCH 871, took off on Sunday, August 15 for the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. It is one of at least two from the series that have flown out terrified refugees out of the country since its downfall. The US Air Force did not say on August 16 how many more flights were scheduled over the next couple of days. The rescue mission has brought back memories of the Fall of Saigon from 1975 where US Air Force helicopters flew thousands of Americans and Vietnamese civilians out of the city in the face of a humiliating defeat for America.


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Who is the hero pilot who flew 640 Afghans out of Kabul to Qatar?

Everyone has been talking about the heroic act of rescuing terror-struck Afghans out on the flight amidst a tense atmosphere. Air Traffic controllers couldn't believe it when they heard the pilot tell them he had 800 people on board. "Ok, how many people do you think are on your jet? 800 people on your jet?! Holy... Holy cow... Ok.." the controller said. Newer reports claimed the passenger count was 640. 

The interior of the jet is designed to carry less than 150 soldiers but has a cargo capacity of 171,000 pounds. In 2013, a CR-17 had rescued 670 people from a typhoon in the Philippines but the recent rescue was a record that has left the Internet saluting the pilot, the crew, and the loadmaster. 

"As #Kabul fell, US A/F on Sunday evening evacuated 640 Afghan civilians on a C-17 Globemaster III. Earlier estimates by the pilot of the mission indicated over 800 civilians who were flown from Kabul to Qatar. Defining photograph of the exodus. Salute to the loadmaster!" read a tweet. While the name of the pilot who flew the jet has not been named yet but another Air Force Pilot named Ed C. Sutton who is also participating in the rescue mission marveled at the heroic act. 

"From a crew ahead of me. 800 people in a single lift Unbelievable, never been done before. We are only rated to floor load 400 people & usually requires a waiver from a one star. C-17s getting the job done," read the tweet. "#Afghanistan640 Afghan refugees ran onto a US C-17 cargo jet before soldiers could close the ramp. It’s designed to carry 150 passengers. Instead of forcing them off, the pilot chose to leave Kabul & save them all. It’s heartbreaking & brave. It’s revolutionary love in action," another tweet read. 




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