1.1 Tanker Rendezvous
Refueling from the Drogue

Tanker Rendezvous
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Once the receiver is visual with the tanker he is clear to join the Observation Position.
The left-hand side of the tanker is allocated for joining aircraft. The observation position is achieved by aligning the Leading Edge of the Tankers left hand wing and flying directly abeam the tail.
These sight-lines of alignment are also used in reverse for the REFORM position. If other aircraft are in either Observation or Reform ahead of you you should fly in cruise formation with them.
Figure 1.1.1 Observation position reference lines.

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Figure 1.1.3. KC-30 KEY AREAS

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The lead receiver in the Observation position will contact the Tanker and “Request Refueling”.
The Tanker will reply “ Proceed to Pre-Contact”.

The receiver should then descend 100 feet and reduce his power setting to begin a slow slide rearwards toward the Pre-Contact position.
The receiver should be aware of other aircraft in either the Refueling Areas or Pre-Contact Area before beginning his move.

Once stable in the pre-contact position, the receiver transmits: ”Ready Pre-Contact.”
If in the correct postion the Tanker will transmit: “Cleared Contact” and begin deploying the refueling drogue.


Once “Cleared Contact” assume a position 10 to 15 feet in trail of the drogue with the refueling probe in line in both the horizontal and vertical reference planes.
Trim the aircraft in this stabilized approach position.
Select a reference point on the tanker as a primary alignment guide during the approach phase; secondarily, rely on peripheral vision of the drogue and hose.

Increase power to establish minimum closure rate on the drogue not to exceed 5 knots. An excessive closure rate causes a violent hose whip following contact and/or increase the danger of structural damage to the aircraft in the event of misalignment; whereas, too slow a closure rate results in the pilot fencing with the drogue as it oscillates in close proximity to the aircraft nose.

During the final phase of the approach, the drogue has a tendency to move slightly upward and to the right as it passes the nose of the receiver aircraft due to the aircraft-drogue airstream interaction.
FigureSmall corrections in the approach phase are acceptable; however, if alignment is off in the final phase, it is best to immediately retire to the initial approach position and commence another approach, compensating for previous misalignment by adjusting the reference point selected on the tanker.

Make small lateral corrections with the rudder, and vertical corrections with the stabilator.
Avoid any corrections about the longitudinal axis (i.e roll) since they cause probe displacement in both the lateral and vertical reference planes.

Once the Probe is plugged into the Drogue the Tanker will transmit “Contact”. The receiver should continue moving forwards 5 - 10 feet to intiate transfer and give the hose some manouvre slack before slowing to match the Tankers airspeed.
The Tanker will transmit “You’re taking fuel”.
The receivers cockpit should be roughly abeam the Tankers tail cone.

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