NEWS | March 29, 2018

Air Expo performer pulls off the impossible

By Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Mark Kirsch, strong man for “Man vs. Impossible,” practiced pulling a C-17 Globemaster III from a hangar at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., March 27, 2018.

Kirsch, a Tacoma, Wash. native, has been pulling aircraft at various military installations around the world for over 10 years and is scheduled to perform during the JB Charleston 2018 Air & Space Expo April 28. He plans to pull the C-17 100 feet.

“This is my first time in Charleston and also my first time pulling a jumbo jet from inside a hangar onto the flightline,” said Kirsch. “Today’s training is going to be ‘crazy amazing’ since I am dealing with an incline, however, it’s going to test my mental drive, determination and strength.”

According to Kirsch, the C-17, weighing approximately 282,400 pounds, has always been a challenge but with practice, extensive training and support of a cheering crowd, he will be able to push his body to accomplish what many consider impossible.

“I like to practice and work hard with a team so when it’s air show time, it’s like the Super Bowl for us,” said Kirsch. “Today is essential to help building our team’s continuity so when it’s game time, we give the audience a great show.”

Members from the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 628th Force Support Squadron worked together coordinating and providing safety measures during the practice, allowing Kirsch to complete the pull twice.

“This practice was a great demonstration of JB Charleston members showing what we are capable of and how well we work together to make things happen,” said Master Sgt. Rob Pennington, 437th Maintenance Group maintenance engineer superintendent. “I think accomplishing this during the practice set the tone for greater things to come at next month’s air show and I believe Mark is going to pull the C-17 even further.”

Kirsch stated his dedication to perform is the result of the support he receives and friendships he’s developed with the military community across the globe.

“Every base and every service I’ve worked with has treated me like family while I’ve been doing this,” said Kirsch. “I was asked to perform at two other locations this week but the enthusiasm of Team JB Charleston is what made the choice easy for me.”

In addition to the aircraft pull, various other performances including the Thunderbirds will take place during the air expo. For more information, visit