Low Altitude Air Refueling Operations

Welcome to the fifty-sixth episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast!  I really appreciate all of you tuning in and downloading this and previous episodes of the show.

One of the great memories of my KC-135 career was flying at low altitude with a receiver behind us. My first introduction to the planning and execution of low-altitude refueling was at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. All of our 909th Air Refueling Squadron tanker crews were certified to do this technique and procedure. This episode discusses the whys and hows of low-altitude air refueling with examples from training and actual combat. The lowest we’d go in the KC-135 is 3000 feet above the terrain, typically refueling the A-10 at 9000 to 10,000 feet. One international Air Force established the record for the lowest altitude refueling on an operational mission in one of the most daring and successful air strikes in the history of aerial warfare!

The Lessons from the Cockpit podcast is financed by Wall Pilot, custom aviation art for the walls of your home, office, or hanger. These are very detailed profiles of aircraft printed on vinyl you can peel off and stick to any flat surface. One hundred twenty-seven Ready-to-Print profiles are available in four, six, and eight-foot-long prints. If there is a favorite aircraft you’d like to have your name, unit, tail codes, and weapons load, we can create a custom print for you too. The form is on the website.

A 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 R Model print is available in the Ready-to-Print section here

909th Air Refueling Squadron Young Tigers KC-135 R Model in the "SHAMU" paint scheme from 1994

The KC-10 has also done low-altitude air refueling. A print of a Travis AFB KC-10 from the 60th Air Mobility Wing is available in the Ready-to-Print section here

KC-10A Extender from the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB California

An F-4E of the 3rd TFS based at Clark Air Base in The Philippines which flew missions during Operation Desert Storm from Incirlik Air Base Turkey and participated in the 1989 GUNSMOKE bombing and gunnery competition at Nellis AFB can be purchased here.

Thanks for downloading this and previous episodes of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast, found on my website at markhasara.com.

We look forward to talking with you next week!


Check out this episode!

Mark Hasara

Have a great Day!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here, I read them all.

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