With the DC10/MD11 update out and everyone exploring what the new aircraft have to offer, I wanted to touch upon several issues involving the refueling aspect of the tankers while under ATC control.
When you’re flying an aircraft in controlled airspace and are not operating under a “flight of” moniker or a group flight, please take care not to:
- Try flying under a tanker to refuel.
- Trying to pass off your flying as VFR in order to get close to said tanker.
- Flying towards random people in order to refuel.
While working approach, I’ve seen a big increase in people who will just fly up to tankers all over the airspace and attempt refueling. This is a no-no for a couple reasons.
As controllers, we have a legal obligation to separate aircraft under certain rules, especially IFR to IFR planes coming in for an approach. It is possible that while attempting to refuel…
- Aircraft in the approach may not want you near them.
- The controller certainly doesn’t want you near them (you will be turned away when feasibly possible).
- It can violate a number of flight rules.
- It has the possibility of interfering with other planes in the approach.
While there are instances and exceptions of refueling under ATC control, the coverage we have in Infinite Flight, especially not having center, doesn’t feasibly excuse refueling in such close quarters to an airport. Keep that in mind.
Attached below is a picture indicating what you should not be doing 10 miles from JFK.
Happy holidays, and Merry Christmas to all!