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|Taking-off on Rwy 29R for an air refueling mission. Sorry, but I don't remember who was in the front seat. I was always frustrated whenever I had one particular Air Tech / I.P. (who shall remain nameless, although he wore Cylon Glasses while sitting motionless at his desk for hours) in the back seat. Coming around the final turn after an overhead - I could always feel him on the controls with me making little corrections. The Phantom Pilot strikes again.||Crossing the coast over Big Sur. A couple more miles and you hit Kite, and then you're in W-283/5. It took about 15-20 minutes each way - about 2/3 of your air time was spent en-route. W-532 and W-289 were off to the south. When we flew out of Vandenberg AFB you would be in your working area in lees than 5 minutes.||Just coming into the area with a nice view of Monterey Bay. Carol and I live about 10 miles north of the smoke stacks at Moss Landing (mid-bay). When we first moved here there was a P-51 that lived in Hollister that would, on the weekends, zip over to Watsonville, and fly north up the beach just over the waves at about 50-100 feet doing around 350 kts. He'd end up just in front of the Boardwalk where he'd do some acro for about 10 minutes, and then back down the beach and home to Hollister. You sure couldn't miss the unique purring of that engine as it went by.|
|KC-135. We were really lucky in California as a fighter unit in that we had tanker units coming out of our ears. On just about every sortie there was a tanker available. We were in serious demand. They didn't have enough receivers to stay well current. That was good for us. The F-106 could fly forever so we could only take on about 2000 lbs. Otherwise we'd be up too long and if we got back late it would screw up the sked. for the next go. The maint. guys would get really testy if they missed lunch 'cause you were late getting back.||If I remember correctly, just before I got back from F-106 school, Al Heers and JAD Dennis were instrumental in getting AAR authorized for the ANG. Up until then only the active duty guys could air-refuel. Thanks guys! The black square in the lower right is the whiskey compass. It was actually attached to the canopy.||Driving in slowly along the tanker centerline. A lot of times you would have to ask the tanker to pull back the inboard engines a bit. Sometimes they would make things a little too bumpy.|
Boom extended. The Boomer would fly the boom from right by your left ear, up and over your back and Thunk
you're conneced and taking gas.
When I first got checked-out for AAR I was trying to get my night Qual. in the summer. Yonder just wouldn't sign me off. Kept saying that if I had to ask the tanker to turn to get the sun out of my eyes it didn't count. :) Got it done eventually.
|My favorite AAR picture. Disclaimer: I wasn't dumb enough to take pictures like these while flying - I used the autopilot :) Seriously, I only took these from a B-model.||The boom as it goes by overhead on its way to the recepticle. Refueling under the KC-10 was an out of world experience. The first time you pull up under that monster it was hard to believe how big it was. It would block out most of your peripheral vision. The Director Lights were better than the ones on the KC-135. They could sense rate changes in your movement. Much more responsive and a real sweet system.|