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16-6763 — - KC-130J 16-6763 refueling CH-53E 16-1381 at 8500' MSLbr /Lone Pine, California, April 9, 2021
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16-6763 —


KC-130J 16-6763 refueling CH-53E 16-1381 at 8500' MSL
Lone Pine, California, April 9, 2021


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David Apps
That looks quite a challenge!
Noticing how much flap the KC130J has extended.
serge LOTH
Refueling in flight... not obvious with an Helicopter..
Did you take the picture in flight???from another plane?
Midair refueling to the helicopter is the first time.
Thank you for the wonderful photograph.
Gustave Beuker
That is some crazy stuff! You’d think they could afford to put about another 10-20’ on that refueling hose…
Gary Eldridge
These kind of operations don't always go well such as in this video...
William Medlin
Curious as to why the H-53 has the gear down. Has knowledge or ideas anyone?
marylou anderson
great shot!
Ailin Barron
It is really close but as a drogue refueling, the helicopter has to do most of the work. When you have a new pilot who gets frustrated and they jam the probe through the side of the basket it is not fun as they try to pull out. It causes the the 130 to yaw badly. If they can’t pull out then130 cuts the hose and the helicopter gets to take home a trophy. Luckily the flight I was on he managed to get out and we were able to reel the hose back in. Spent 6 years with the Yankee’s of VMGR-452 out of Newburgh, NY.
"If you're planning to slow down, please let me know ASAP!"

Doesn't look like much clearance!
The impression the H-53 is so close to the tail of the 130 is an optical illusion. The helicopter is on the far side of the plane. The drogue is deployed from the right side wing-tank and the probe on the 53 is Left of the centerline. In no way diminishing the flying skills these folks are demonstrating, what you are seeing is not quite as hairy as it may appear. I also suspect the picture was taken with a long lens which further foreshortens the perspective. Remember that is one monster big helicopter and it is on the far side of the Herc.
tom239Photo Uploader
thanks everyone for the kind words!

serge LOTH: I took the photo from my yard. Terrain is 4500' above sea level where I live and the plane and helicopter were at 8500'.

skylab72: yes a long lens: 400mm focal length.
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