KC-135 used boom to tow crippled F-4

Operating an F-16 on the ground or in the air - from the engine start sequence, over replacing a wing, to aerial refueling procedures
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FlightTestJim

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Unread post28 Jun 2004, 21:27

A little off the subject, but does anyone remember the story of the KC-135 crossing the pond, that used its boom to tow a crippled F-4 (with engine problems and very limited thrust) up to altitude repeatedly across the North Atlantic? As I recall, they "lifted" the Phantom some 8 or 9 times, released it, and then met it again at lower altitude, rejoined, and did it again, until it was able to make an emergency landing in Iceland. Seems I read about this many, many years ago, and all involved got Air Medals from the ordeal.
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habu2

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Unread post28 Jun 2004, 22:10

Why lift it, release it, chase it, lift it....??? Why not just hook up once and maintain? Releasing and reconnecting over and over sounds like a lot of added risk to me.

The F-4 story I remember was "Pardo's Push" :shock:
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FlightTestJim

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Unread post28 Jun 2004, 22:58

As I recall (and memory may be way too faded), the distance was quite far, and they went up to altitude, to let the aircraft seperate a bit, I believe for pilot fatigue issues, and maybe just in case they needed to eject at anytime. I wish I could find the whole article.

The closest I've found to the story I remeber reading was hidden in "Everything you never wanted to know about aerial refueling, and shouldn't have asked." It said:

"In some instances, a pilot may prefer being locked onto the boom to be towed. During the Desert Shield deployment, for example, a KC-135 towed an F-4 part way across the Atlantic when the fighter experienced partial power loss."

There's a link to a Jan 1993 "Aerial Refueling" article:
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives ... n93_p.html
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LinkF16SimDude

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Unread post29 Jun 2004, 07:26

habu2 wrote:Why lift it, release it, chase it, lift it....??? Why not just hook up once and maintain? Releasing and reconnecting over and over sounds like a lot of added risk to me.


Risky yes, and I don't know the specifics, but if it was the only tanker available maybe it needed to give gas to the other jets in the flight? :?:
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habu2

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Unread post29 Jun 2004, 17:09

Good points - thanks.
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elp

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Unread post29 Jun 2004, 21:45

Geeeez !
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JR007

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Unread post30 Jun 2004, 04:20

Bob's on cool character...
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Burning debris never reversed on anyone…

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FlightTestJim

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Unread post30 Jun 2004, 15:44

This photo is for you elp, based on your sign-off:
"I remember the days when B-52D's and F-105s flew..."
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Unread post30 Jun 2004, 16:05

Yo Ho!

Many, many jocks in SEA owed their lives to the tanker troops that 'towed' them.

If the jet was light and 'clean' the few hundred pounds extra 'pull' made a lotta difference.

There was also the call, "toboggan", whereby the tanker would descend to keep the hookup nice and tight and pass a bit of gas.

The Viper is so clean and light, that I imagine it could be towed st and level the whole way.

Pardo's Push still seems the most amazing escapade, though. Talk about a 'Band of Brothers'.
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KarimAbdoun

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Unread post01 Jul 2004, 02:21

Buddy refuelling always amazed me
The fighter is not what counts, it's the one who's flying it that matters!
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cmjohnson

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Unread post11 Jul 2004, 01:57

My father had an experience in this category once. He flew KC-135s, starting in the transitional crews when the type was just being introduced and continuing until about '68, at which time he switched to RC-135s for the rest of his career.

He was escorting a group of F104s across the ocean when one of the Starfighters had a flameout. Its pilot wasn't able to relight the engine, but WAS able to light the AFTERBURNER. However, it was obvious that this would constitute a fuel emergency...and over the ocean, of all places. My father pushed his RC-135 to the redline, about .95 mach, and the Starfighter was able to accomplish a hookup by use of the airbrake and afterburner at the same time. In that configuration, that was about the slowest speed the 104 was able to obtain. The 104 burned every drop as fast as it came down the pipe but they did make it to land where the 104 made an emergency landing safely after being escorted, still on the boom, by the 135 well into the final approach. Even though it was being tanked almost all the way to the skidmarks, it still landed on vapors
and dead sticked anyway because you DON'T try to land a 104 in full AB, obviously!

Records that my father has kept indicate that he passed something like 44,000 pounds of fuel to the 104 in this event.

My father received a commendation for his actions, and the 104 pilot got a DFC for his.

Excellent airmanship on both sides of the boom, I'd say!

CJ
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habu2

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Unread post11 Jul 2004, 04:46

Excellent airmanship on both sides of the boom, I'd say!

Wow. That's quite a story - thanks!
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Bret

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Unread post13 Jul 2004, 04:45

How about Roby Risner pushing his wingman in a F-86 as documented in "The Passing of Night"? That is also quite a story. It is totoally true. Check it out at http://www.acepilots.com/korea_risner.html.
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stik

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Unread post22 Jul 2004, 22:23

I know we have all heard about Pardo's Push but have any of y'all ever heard of an instance during Vietnam where an F-4's flight controls were damaged over North Vietnam and the pilot barrel-rolled far enough south to eject over friendly territory. I heard this story once or twice but can't find any info on it. I know if anyone has heard of this event it will be one of our own F-16.net readers.
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shangri-la

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Unread post21 Nov 2011, 22:36

FlightTestJim wrote:A little off the subject, but does anyone remember the story of the KC-135 crossing the pond, that used its boom to tow a crippled F-4 (with engine problems and very limited thrust) up to altitude repeatedly across the North Atlantic? As I recall, they "lifted" the Phantom some 8 or 9 times, released it, and then met it again at lower altitude, rejoined, and did it again, until it was able to make an emergency landing in Iceland. Seems I read about this many, many years ago, and all involved got Air Medals from the ordeal.


I was there.It was 1983 and we towed a F4E to Newfoundland.There were 2 brute force disconnects, which is why we needed to reconnect.All 3 connections were done in a dive. The first was 1500 feet off of the icy water.
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