C-17 and KC-135 Collide

Military aircraft accidents/mishaps.
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VPRGUY

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Unread post06 Jan 2006, 04:38

Quote from the 9 January 2006 copy of "Air Force Times"

A C-17 Globemaster III and a KC-135R Stratotanker from the Hawaii Air National Guard where slightly damaged when they collided Dec. 22 during a refueling training exercise about 200 miles off Oahu. Both planes landed safely and no injuries were reported.

The tanker suffered minor visible structural damage to its tail and boom, said Maj. Charles Anthony, a Hawaii National Guard spokesman.

The C-17 also had minor damage, said Maj. Paul Wright, a spokesman for the 15th Airlift Wing at Hickam Air Force Base. He didn't know what part of the plane was damaged. No damage-cost estimates where immediately available.

The two planes collided when the tanker was attempting to refuel the C-17.

It's unclear whether the C-17 flew too close to the tanker or the tanker flew too close to the cargo plane. Air Force officials were scheduled to fly to Hawaii to investigate the incident.

The C-17 was flying to Hawaii, carrying mostly Hawaii National Guard airmen on their way home from a training session at Altus Air Force Base, Okla.
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Guysmiley

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Unread post06 Jan 2006, 17:30

It's unclear whether the C-17 flew too close to the tanker or the tanker flew too close to the cargo plane. Air Force officials were scheduled to fly to Hawaii to investigate the incident.


Hmm... isn't it up to the receiver to NOT hit the tanker?
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snypa777

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Unread post06 Jan 2006, 17:40

Is it true that changes in pressure/wind/turbulence can come into play when two LARGE aircraft tank from each other? I mean, is it more difficult or hazardous than tanking small fighter size aircraft?
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Guysmiley

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Unread post06 Jan 2006, 18:39

I know C-5 pilots prefer -135s over KC-10s because the turbulence from the -10's center engine can mess with their tail. But I can't see how the KC-135 could be to blame in any case, I mean it just flies a racetrack right?
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akruse21

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Unread post06 Jan 2006, 23:24

well if the tanker loses thrust all of a sudden its not like the 17 can roll inverted and bug out
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Guysmiley

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Unread post06 Jan 2006, 23:43

LOL good point!
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VPRGUY

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Unread post07 Jan 2006, 22:18

Or if there is some "clear air turbulance" that hits the two- the 135 suddenly drops a bit and the C-17 gets thrown up, and bang! You have a messed up 135 boom and tail.
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509thBoomer

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Unread post11 Jan 2006, 04:39

Hi there, I'm the new guy to the site and just happen to be a KC-135 R/T instructor boom. Although the investigation is still on going, I can say that the Boom Operator is in "charge" during the refueling and must be on the ball. When a receiver is unstable or approaching the degree limits of the boom the sound judgment should be taken and a "breakaway" called. At that point the KC-135 pushes up the power while the receivers pulls back and descends, thereby giving the lateral and vertical separation. Fighters such as the F-16, F-22, etc are fairly easy to A/R as they do not push us around at all. That being said the heavies such as the C-5, C-17, KC-10 etc are much bigger then us and when they close in they tend to cause a low pressure (bow wave) between the two aircraft, pulling our tail down toward the receiver. The KC-135 pilot adds elevator trim to compensate this problem. With the C-17, it is not only big but is quick like a fighter which can make refueling it a challenge, especially in the weather. I was bummed to hear that the two actually hit and would like to see the final report on what happened. Thankfully no one was hurt and both aircraft came home. I will quit rambling now :beer:

Phil
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Eggroll135R

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Unread post11 Jan 2006, 13:28

Thaks 509th boomer...You saved me from rambling on! I have been on some pretty hairy A/R's when we hit CAT. I've also seen St. Elmo's fire on the boom, which is pretty cool.
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snypa777

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Unread post11 Jan 2006, 13:45

Thanks also 509th boomer, "Bow wave" was the phenomenon I was trying to remember. Guess it can get pretty hairy in "weather" being pushed around by a big ship! Can you tell me if you are equipped to refuel Navy as well as Air force planes?

Or is refuelling split into two separate methods, two distinct aircraft?, boom/receptacle and probe/drogue?
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elp

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Unread post11 Jan 2006, 15:44

Isn't that the same argument used saying the P-3 should have avoided the Chinese fighter?

What?


:lol: :lol: :lol: :D


No problem with any accident like this where no one gets hurt and we learn something. It's just a reminder to the rest of us who don't have to do that hard work, that tanking isn't "routine"... in a safety mindset kind of way. And even with all our training, stuff is going to happen. Put up against how many successful refuelings we have had, no biggy.

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Guysmiley

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Unread post11 Jan 2006, 18:10

Did the multi-point refueling system for -135s get deployed? It used to be that a -135 could only do probe and drogue if a basket was bolted to the boom tip, precluding boom refueling. MPRS was going to add drogue pods to the wings allowing both ops in the same flight.
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snypa777

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Unread post11 Jan 2006, 19:52

Beat me to it GUYSMILEY!

Drogue from the wings/ boom from the rear fuselage. Makes sense to a non-refuel guy like me! That way any tanker could refuel anything....
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Guysmiley

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Unread post11 Jan 2006, 21:17

KC-10 can do both for sure, I don't know if the KC-135 upgrade ever got fully funded. It sure seems to make sense. Talked to a boom operator I know in the Forks, he thinks the drogue ops are incredibly dull. I'd ask him about the wing pods but he's currently overseas.
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509thBoomer

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Unread post11 Jan 2006, 22:18

We have a few MPRS birds around here and out on the road. IMO They suck for the boom operator as it takes a good 10 minutes of confusing checklist steps just to put them out and we have zero control of them from that point except to bring them back in after use, but that is just my opinion.
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