destinations up to seven hours travelling time away. This necessitates

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Task and marks distribution – COURSEWORK 1 Name: Training
Air-to-Air Refuelling Case Study
FlyGas operate a fleet of Multi-Role Tactical Transport Aircraft which are used for Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) operations (Figure 1a). The refuelling process is carried out by the Air- Refuelling Operator who sits at a console (Figure 1b) located on the flight deck, just behind the pilots.
a. Multi-Role Tactical Transport (MRTT) conducting en-route refuelling
b. MRTT AAR Operator’s Console
Figure 1
The most challenging type of AAR operation involves taking a group of smaller aircraft to destinations up to seven hours travelling time away. This necessitates the refuelling of the smaller aircraft multiple times on the journey. This requires detailed planning to establish the route and refuelling schedule to ensure that all the aircraft will have sufficient fuel to reach the destination (or one of the nominated diversion airfields) at all times during the
flight. This is of critical importance when crossing large expanses of ocean. Planning is conducted by the crew on the day before the mission takes place.
Figure 2 shows how an AAR route would be shown on a navigation chart.
Figure 2 Trail route as it would be shown on a navigation chart.
Route planning for an AAR sortie has some similarities with route planning for any other flight, in that the route from start to destination has to be determined and plotted, taking into consideration the requirement to always be within reach of a suitable diversion. However, the decisions about the route and the diversions have to be based upon, not only the performance and range of the MRTT itself, but also the range and performance of the aircraft that are to be refuelled. The refuelling sequences and timings also have to be determined. These are shown on the navigation chart as refuelling brackets (Figure 2). For each refuelling bracket a table is completed which gives the start time, duration and fuel load to be transferred for each aircraft that is being refuelled. Figure 1 shows refuelling brackets in which three aircraft (AC1-AC3) are to be refuelled. As the MRTT can refuel two aircraft at the same time, the timings for the aircraft may overlap. The frequency of the refuelling brackets and the timings and fuel offloads will all depend on the capabilities of the aircraft being refuelled, as different aircraft types have different fuel capacities and fuel consumption rates. They will also be affected by the distances to the available diversions.
Once airborne, the crew have to be able to conduct rapid re-planning. Re-planning can be required for a number of reasons such as if one of the one of the aircraft has an emergency such as a fuel tank failure which reduces how much fuel it can take at each refuelling point or one of the sets of refuelling equipment on the tanker becoming inoperable. Different aircraft fuel system faults can impact on the volume of fuel that an aircraft can receive and the rate at which it can receive it. Weather conditions can also impact on this dynamic planning. Such events will require a new refuelling plan to be developed or, in the worst case, a diversion to be made. When multiple faults occur, which can involve a wide variety
of possible combinations of fault type, the re-planning process can become very complex. What makes re-planning particularly challenging is that, unlike initial pl…

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