Close call: E-3 AWACS almost collides with KC-135 tanker mid-air

It must have been one of the most frightening view in the career of the KC-135’s flying boom operator.

A NATO E-3  Sentry almost hit the tail of the tanker and its flying boom during air-to-air refueling operations. Not only the close proximity of the two large planes was dangerous, but also the evasive maneuver the pilot performs to avoid collision: the AWACS (airborne early warning and control plane) pulls several negative G-forces to gain quick separation from the refueler.

According to the user who uploaded it to Youtube, the aircraft was damaged and some crew members hurt as a consequence of the maneuver.

Warbird Digest
About David Cenciotti 3645 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.