1st Lt. Eli Parsch, pilot, 9th Airlift Squadron, flies a C-5M Super Galaxy en route to an air refueling point after departing Dover Air Force Base, Del., Feb. 21, 2019. On Jan. 17, 2020, Parsch and several airmen guided home a Super Galaxy weighing 750,000 pounds with cargo after a passenger suffered a medial emergency. (Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Laura Beckley)
The Air Force's largest aircraft, the C-5M Super Galaxy, was carrying 68 passengers from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, the evening of Jan. 17 when a medical emergency caused the plane to be diverted.
The plane was en route to Rota, Spain, when less than a half hour into the flight, a passenger lost consciousness. Other passengers alerted the crew of a possible seizure, and Master Sgt. Josh Cutrer responded first. He cleared out the crowded seating area to keep the passenger comfortable and stable.
"The biggest thing was to keep him safe," Cutrer said. As the passenger regained consciousness, he seemed dazed, couldn't remember much before passing out and told Cutrer that this hadn't happened to him before. He wanted to continue flying, but Cutrer was already in communication with aircraft commander Capt. Geoff Howard.
Lockheed Martin said earlier this month that the last of 52 upgraded C-5M Super Galaxy cargo planes had been delivered to the Air Force, finishing the nearly two-decade-long modernization of the service's largest plane.