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Confessions of a KC-135 Boom Operator

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posted on May, 21 2014 @ 09:58 AM
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a reply to: ATBspirit

I couldn't tell ya




posted on May, 21 2014 @ 06:37 PM
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Brilliant read, thanks a lot! I learned a ton by reading this, and checking out all the planes listed.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 06:39 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: VoidHawk

The boom operator in the KC-135 lays on a bench under the tail of the aircraft looking out through a window at the receiver aircraft. He controls the boom, and the fuel pumps with controls around the bench.

The KC-10 went to a seat, partially due to fatigue related issues brought on by a godawful uncomfortable bench.

KC-10 boom pod

KC-135 boom pod


Thats what I really wanted to see after reading this!



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 10:14 PM
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Great read. Been lurking around on here for awhile. Always entertaining and intriguing stuff from you, Zaphod, and gariac. Grew up under a final of FOE and started flying there so I have a fondness for KC-135s! Thanks for sharing!



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 02:27 AM
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Someone asked me what turbulence was like during air refueling...




Edit: sorry bout the language there. Didn't notice it the first time I watched it.
edit on 24-5-2014 by boomer135 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 08:56 AM
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a reply to: boomer135

That was pretty bad turbulence.

My father had a bird hit turbulence so bad during an IFR mission that they came home with a broken boom. It can get pretty ugly if you aren't careful.
edit on 5/24/2014 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 01:34 PM
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many thanks to boomer for this article , and many thanks to the usual suspects for the additional info,

quick question :

i have always wondered if there are any restrictions to the areas that you can refuel over ? for example are you allowed to refuel over towns / cites ? or would you have to move away and refuel ?

thanks

snoopyuk



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 01:40 PM
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a reply to: snoopyuk

At the altitudes they refuel at, the fuel would have evaporated before hitting the ground. The only real concern would be an accident, and those are so incredibly rare anymore it's not funny. The last I heard of was an F-16 heading out of Misawa AB in Japan for Hickam. There were the usual screw ups, and the two tankers were heading towards each other. When they took evasive, the wing of one of the tankers clipped the F-16 and he went down.

It usually works by the FAA blocking off a chunk of airspace as belonging to the tanker. They can refuel at any point inside that block, and the altitude of their choice, as long as they stay within it.



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 02:01 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Many thanks for the swift reply,

yes i wasn't so concerned regarding any fuel spillage, it was more the concern that there would be an air to air accident, good to know that they are rare.

thanks

snoopyuk



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: snoopyuk

Yeah, that one with the F-16 was back some time around 98-2000 or so. They were more common in the 60s and 70s, but part of that was the length of the mission/crew fatigue being involved. That's the only one that I can think of that's happened in over 30 years right off the top of my head.



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 02:53 PM
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When we refuel, we get whats known as MARSA-Military assumes responsibility for the separation of aircraft. Once we have that then we can do whatever we want within the block. Usually ATC will give us a 1000 foot block from say FL250-FL260 that we have to stay in. When the receiver(s) come into the block, we will be at 26 and they will be at 25 until radar or visual contact at which time the receiver climbs up to the tanker for refueling. After refueling, the tanker get the ATC clearance for both us and the receiver and we pass the receivers clearance along to them. They must descend after refueling to 250 and we stay at 260 and terminate MARSA.

Here's the united states refueling tracks....

edit on 24-5-2014 by boomer135 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: boomer135


thank-you for the additional info,
great as always


cheers

snoopyuk



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 07:43 PM
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a reply to: boomer135

I was on house boat under track 717 in NE WA and remember seeing a KC10 refueling a C5 I believe. If it wasn't for the size of the two together I don't think I would have spotted them.




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