The following video is not only interesting for the stunning footage showing some A-10C Warthog aircraft with 190th Fighter Squadron refueling from a KC-135 but because it shows, from a quite unusual point of view, how the “boomer” (the operator who controls and moves the flying boom) works.
At 00:50 you can see the boom operator lying over the large window located on the tail of the KC-135 aerial refueler and moving the flying boom by means of joystick.
Needless to say, the privileged observation position makes the “boomer” job, one of the most interesting in the Air Force.
David Cenciotti is a 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 five books and contributed to many more ones.
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When I was a kid we had a family friend who was a boomer and I remember my dad explaining how they “operate on their bellies.” I never could figure out why so many Stratotanker crew needed medical operations on their stomachs or how the boomer had time to do that plus fuel planes, but hey, if a grown up said it, it must have been true.
You should see the view on take off and landing from in there with the window open
That shows they can’t refuel by night ?