Saturday, August 29, 2015

"The ‘Snatch Method’ Was One Crazy Way to Make a Glider Fly"

I have a copy of the original U.S. Army Air Force training film on glider snatches. It is narrated by an obscure Hollywood actor then in uniform -- Ronald Reagan. I've also interviewed glider pilots who participated in "snatches," including one who flew out of Yugoslavia on a mission to bring two Soviet colonels to SHAEF headquarters in an operation that is still classified. Socked in by weather overnight, the glider pilot recalled with fondness the hospitality shown him by the Partisans. He wasn't much for specific details of that night, but he did comment, "Oh, those Partisan women!"


Anonymous said...

A Glider snatch is for women, balloon snatches(if your riding the wind) are for those with balls. Search C-130 STARS

Anonymous said...

I've seen videos of a similar technique used for retrieving downed airmen. It involved sending up a balloon attached to a sturdy harness by a long stretchy cable. The "snatching" aircraft captured the balloon/cable in a v-shaped structure on it's nose similar to that used to capture film canisters dropped from the early spy satellites. Think "glider snatch" without the glider.

Allen said...

glider snatches?

even for an old sailor, that sounds dirty!

Jerry The Geek said...

Oh! John Wayne demonstrated the balloon-snatch in his movie "Green Berets".

Galaxie_Man said...

@Jerry The Geek: What was used in the movie "The Green Berets" to extract the NVA officer at the end of the movie was called the "Fulton Extraction System". It is also known as the Fulton Recovery System.

Here's a link to a video

I would pay a lot of money to ride it just one time!