Air Force crew punished for using aircraft to pick up a BMW motorcycle

Five crew members of the U.S. Air Force Reserves are downgraded after it emerges they chartered a Hurcules plane on a detour to pick up a motorcycle...

US Air Force Hercules plane

An U.S Air Force Reserve crew has been grounded by their superiors after it emerged they made an unauthorised stop to pick up a classic motorcycle in Martha’s Vineyard.

Back in March 2022, it emerged that a WC-130 Hercules jet appeared on the runway at Martha’s Vineyard Airport for just 15 minutes before taking off again, but not before curious residents nearby got a good look at the commotion.

Word soon spread on social media and US news outlets, prompting an investigation that later revealed the plane made a detour the day after flying between Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi to Quonset Air National Guard Base to airlift a motorcycle, specifically a classic 1970 BMW R75/5 belonging to one of the crew members.

While we can perhaps empathise with the desire to circumnavigate rising fuel prices by performing a cheeky stop, perhaps it wasn’t wise to do so with a behemoth of an aircraft that isn’t exactly discreet.

Understandably, the powers that be in the U.S Air Force were none too impressed either and the five-strong crew from the Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, 403rd Wing have each been punished accordingly, being downgraded before getting a rather public drubbing down in an official statement.

“Air Force Reserve crews must put in flight training time each month to keep their qualifications, and off-station training achieves valid training requirements,” Col. Stuart M. Rubio, 403rd Wing commander said in a statement. 

“This personal stop was an abuse of government assets. We hold our reservists to the highest standards of conduct, and these actions are not tolerated.”

This would have never happened in Top Gun…