Once on station in the area and
having got my camera ready whilst flying up to AAR5, the Tristar started
to fly in a racetrack configuration at 20,000ft to await its first trade
of the day. We didn’t have to wait long when a call from Jedi 1 & 2,
which were two GR7’s out of Cottesmore. Climbing up alongside on our Port
side and giving the crew of Fagin 11 a visual that they were ready to
take on fuel. One of the pair of GR9's slipped backwards and slowly down
making its way to the outstretched delivery hose, which hung from the
centre line of Fagin 11's fuselage.
As soon as he was attached two tons of fuel began to flow, this was being
pumped from the Tristar to the thirsty GR7. Upon completion the GR7
detached and climbed up alongside us, this time on the Starboard side to
await the second GR7 as he carried out the same refuelling technique.
When the second aircraft had finished taking onboard his allotted two tons of fuel he
detached to join his companion on the Starboard side before moving away
to carry on with their sortie.
continued to fly in its racetrack holding pattern while we waited for out next
trade a pair of Typhoons, and so it went on. The only deviant from the
routine of delivering fuel came when an 8 Sqn AWACS came up to carry out
refuelling practice. As the Tristar remained on station the AWACS made
numerous approaches and hook up’s without taking onboard any fuel.
Taking around 40tons of fuel to be delivered to around a dozen aircraft
and with each recipient taking onboard about 2tons each the whole
refuelling sortie lasted a total of 4hrs 55mins from take off to
This was the routine
throughout the Tri-Stars five hour mission, most of its trade turned up
as tasked but there was a few exceptions who didn't show but for all
those that did, they were dealt with in the usual professional RAF
thanks to all concerned