LOW-LEVEL AND TACTICAL FORMATION
fuel transfer is complete, the receiver will reduce power and fall back 500 feet and rejoin into the
Post Air Refueling
When the last receiver has completed refuel procedures, he will fall back into his receiver
formation in the last position. Once the receiver aircraft are all back in the observation position,
the tanker will clear the receiver formation to detach. The tanker will maintain the refueling
altitude and accelerate ahead of the receiver(s). Another method of separating the refueling
formation is for the tanker to maintain his altitude while the receiver formation descends below
the refueling altitude.
When any crewmember aboard either the tanker or receiver determines that an unsafe
environment exists, he will transmit on the refueling frequency the breakaway call. The call will
consist of the tanker's call sign and the call "breakaway, breakaway." Excessive rates of closure,
receiver overrunning, or aircraft fire/malfunctions are all examples of situations that warrant a
breakaway call. Once a breakaway call has been made the following will occur: the tanker will
immediately accelerate and climb to the top of the block while the receiver will immediately
reduce airspeed by moving the throttles to idle (if safely able) and descend to the bottom of the
block. If there are multiple receivers in formation, then the receiver in the wingman position
should be prepared to immediately turn to a heading away from the other receiver as well if an
overrun situation develops. This should be thoroughly briefed before the flight. Another
rendezvous can be re-coordinated or the refueling mission can be terminated.
Lost Contact Procedures
If at any time the receiver loses sight of the tanker, a breakaway will immediately be called and
executed. If receivers lose sight of each other in formation then the lost sight procedures per the
squadron joint form procedures shall be executed. If receivers in formation enter IMC, then the
squadron inadvertent IMC procedures for formation flights shall be executed. In any case, Lead
shall always be directive.
Example A/R Communications:
TANKER = Stingray 323
RECEIVER = Stingray 330.
Let's assume the requested working area is 5000 - 7000 feet.
Establishing Radio contact (otherwise known as the 15 minute call):
Stingray 323-Tanker, this is Stingray 330 and flight.
Stingray 330, this is Stingray 323-Tanker. Altimeter is 2986. Go ahead.
Roger. Stingray 330 is a flight of 2 climbing to 5000 feet with altimeter 2986.
TACTICAL/AERIAL REFUELING PROCEDURES