TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Fire broke out on a huge Air Force C-5A transport plane at Travis AFB Friday, burning through the hull behind the wing, but none of the eight crewmen was seriously injured, officials said.
The blaze wasn't discovered by the crew until the plane was taxiing after landing at the base 50 miles northeast of San Francisco following a routine local training flight, an Air Force spokesman said.
One crewman, Tech. Sgt. Dirk C. Grenwelge, home town not available, required oxygen for smoke inhalation but was released from the base hospital, Lt. Col. Jim Dilda said.
'It was a significant fire,' Dilda said. 'The hull was burned-through in the upper fusilage just to the rear of the wing. It will not fly again for quite a while.'
The cause of the 11:15 a.m. blaze was under investigation, he said.
The other seven crewmen did not require medical treatment.
The Lockheed-built jet, the largest plane in the Air Force and capable of carrying two Army M-1 tanks and other bulky freight, had taken off from Travis earlier in the day on a routine 'local' training mission, Dilda said.
The four-engine, 247-foot-long plane was not carrying any cargo.
'The fire apparently occurred on the ground, from what we know,' he said. 'The crew was not aware of it until the craft was on the ground, as the plane was taxiing. There was nothing to indicate there was anything wrong before they got on the ground.'
The plane was piloted by Capt. Joseph V. Fagan Jr., 31, of Allentown, Pa.