ha763
Posts: 3168
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:36 pm

C-17 Hits A KC-135 Inflight

Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:46 am

A C-17 hit a Hawaii ANG KC-135R on a night-time refueling training mission off of Oahu last Thursday (22Dec). This caused the KC-135 to go into a dive, but both aircraft landed safely. The KC-135 received "minor" structural damage to the tail and boom. No mention of any damage to the C-17.

C-17, tanker collide 200 miles off O'ahu
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: C-17 Hits A KC-135 Inflight

Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:29 am

This sounds like the receiver (C-17A) underran the tanker, during, or just after the Boom Operator made contact. This will take the boom and receiver below the lower limit and outside of the air refueling envelope. That is the most dangerous position to be in as the Boom Operator cannot control the boom if a disconnect occures in this position, aerodynamic forces could spring the boom into the tankers tail section. The correct manuver is for the receiver to drop down (slowly), then back.

If the receiver pilot tries to back out, first, he will actually come up and in. Only the Boom Operator can see enough to give the proper direction.

Most times this happens to fast for the Boom Operator to call for a "Breakaway" manuver.

Someones career is on the line here, and I doubt it will be the Wing Commander. The Boom Operator is in charge of the refueling, he will most likely get dinged here, as well as the pilot of the KC-135R.

It is unusual to refuel near the end of the mission (200nm from HNL after flying from LTS), esspeically with passengers aboard.

I'm glad no one got hurt.
 
KC135R
Posts: 696
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 6:38 am

RE: C-17 Hits A KC-135 Inflight

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:44 pm

Hmmm...

Last year, in a similar sounding incident, a C-17 ripped a boom off of a KC-135 over the Gulf of Mexico - luckily both crews survived that one too.

In that incident the investigation concluded there were many errors, but they specifically mentioned another problem in addition to the many mistakes both crews made - that there was a lack of procedural guidance on refuelling a C-17.

Apparently refuel procedures for all the other heavy aircraft (C-5, B-52, etc) are covered in the KC-135 flight manual in more detail than the C-17. They believed that the lack of guidance might have contributed to the lackadaisical attitude about closure rates on such a heavy aircraft, which ultimately led to the hard contact and boom eventually coming off the tanker.

I wonder if that lack of guidance was corrected and, if not, could this be a similar problem?
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: C-17 Hits A KC-135 Inflight

Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:11 am

Quoting KC135R (Reply 2):
I wonder if that lack of guidance was corrected and, if not, could this be a similar problem?

Good question. I did not know of the earlier incident. But, the USAF is usually pretty quick in getting publication changes out when procedures are part of an accident cause.
 
ha763
Posts: 3168
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:36 pm

RE: C-17 Hits A KC-135 Inflight

Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:49 am

No new information except that Col. Changose will ground himself during the inquiry and apparently will still try to re-qualify as a flight instructor after the inquiry and before the arrival of the first C-17 in February.

C-17 pilot won't fly during inquiry

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos