Flying Coal

Cities need energy and Berlin needed coal to survive the blockade. Coal constituted the majority of cargo flown by the US Air Force’s C-54s and made up 65% of the total tonnage flown into Berlin. Coal was heavy, dirty, and dusty. All of which created significant problems for both aircraft and crew. Coal dust seeped into every part of the aircraft causing damage like corroded control cables and eroded electrical connections. Coal dust created equal problems for the aircrews who complained of breathing problems and headaches. The only way to effectively handle the coal was to place it in bags.