The US Air Force’s (USAF) 23d Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) has practised hot-pit style of refuelling to eliminate extra maintenance and to extend pilot training time for each flight.
The hot pitting technique allows aircraft to land and refuel without stopping their engines.
The refuelling mission was conducted between 4 and 7 December, during the 23d Wing’s Phase 1, Phase 2 exercise.
The M-11 refuelling trucks were positioned before the aircraft landed to help keep operations running smoothly during the exercise.
23d LRS fuel superintendent master sergeant James Holloway said: “Hot-pits are almost like a gas station attendant.
“With a max surge like this, if we cold serviced, it would take a lot longer.
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“They’re flying more and with quicker turn times, so hot-pits allow us to keep them fueled, as the [pilots] come to us. We just stick the hose in and refuel them.”
Refuelling times were reduced by 66% when aircraft kept their engines on. If an aircraft is required to shut down during each landing, ground inspections must be performed.
The fuels distribution team would also be tasked with finding each aircraft in need of fuel, setting up the refuelling operation and dragging a hose to the aircraft.
75th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot captain Taylor Raasch said: “The hot-pits are extremely beneficial.
“They increase our ability to generate sorties and minimise the time required to get aircraft airborne again. We’re getting more value in the time allotted in our flying window and ultimately more training.”