Watch closely at the tail of the plane. (looking for a lightning strike) Then replay it and watch the front landing gear. Then wonder why we don't refuel airplanes when there is lightning in the area. Lightning strike to a plane at the gate. You'll need to watch it a few times; it's only about 11 seconds. Three key things/areas to watch -- first watch the tail of the aircraft as the bolt hits the vertical stab, do not blink, it happens that fast. Next, watch the nose of the aircraft where ground crew is walking up to, and under, the nose of the plane. Then, look just to your left of the nose gear. That brown square on the ground is a metal plate imbedded in the concrete, with a small manhole cover. The strike exits onto the metal plate, and sends the manhole cover flying through the air toward the tug on the far left."
Every single day, the dedicated Airmen from the U.S. Air Force's tanker community directly support the ground objectives by allowing fighter aircraft to spend more time over the battlespace. The KC-135R Stratotanker conducts aerial refueling missions throughout the entire U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Time lapse story covers one of the largest KC-135R maintenance units, the 340th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, and flying operations units, the 340th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron, in the world. The story features video interviews with Lt. Col. Scott Paffenroth, deployed from 91st Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.; Capt. Kevin DiFalco, deployed from 510th Fighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy; Tech. Sgt. Stephen Jenkins, deployed from 151st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Capt. Breanna McNair, deployed from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill AFB, Fla. The story also features interviews with Tech. Sgt. Timothy Hart, deployed from 151 AMXS, and Airman 1st Class Patrick Muckey, deployed from 91 ARS.
Originally designed as a land-based, long-range, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft, the P-3C's mission has evolved in the late 1990s and early 21st century to include surveillance of the battlespace, either at sea or over land. Its long range and long loiter time have proved invaluable assets during Operation Iraqi Freedom as it can view the battlespace and instantaneously provide that information to ground troops , especially U.S. Marines. The P-3C has advanced submarine detection sensors such as directional frequency and ranging (DIFAR) sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) equipment. The avionics system is integrated by a general purpose digital computer that supports all of the tactical displays, monitors and automatically launches ordnance and provides flight information to the pilots. In addition, the system coordinates navigation information and accepts sensor data inputs for tactical display and storage. The P-3C can carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons.