A Basic Mistake That Trashed a JSTARS | Defense Tech

Approaching the tanker, all is going smoothly until the two planes hook up and fuel starts flowing into the JSTARS. You hear a “loud bang throughout the midsection of the aircraft.” This freaks everyone out enough for the pilot to immediately stop the refueling to check the aircraft for damage or malfunctioning systems.  Finding none, the pilot brings the jet back into contact with the tanker and as soon as fuel starts flowing between the two jets, the E-8C begins to shudder as “another series of loud noises and vibrations” are “heard and felt throughout the aircraft.”

via A Basic Mistake That Trashed a JSTARS | Defense Tech.

They’re lucky the wing didn’t fall off.

Lots and lots of good pics at the link. One of you sheetmetal types take a look and report back to me, willya?

2 thoughts on “A Basic Mistake That Trashed a JSTARS | Defense Tech”

  1. That aircraft was damn lucky to make it back; the over pressure ripped rivets out of support structure, tore the skin in the baffles (you have to have baffles that will let liquid flow through them, but not in in waves that would disture balance and affect structural strength). I’ve seen a fuel tank on a Navy ship get over pressed and it literally ripped 1/4″ steel (as opposed to 14 gauage aluminum in the wing) right off the tope of 4 tanks and ruined a berthing compartment. The ship? USS Starke, coming back from being rebuilt after eating a pair of Exocets.

Comments are closed.