After reading about mid-air refueling and watching The Perfect Storm, I have a question: is there a special procedure to observe when performing an in-flight refueling in the rain?

Side note: I heard the tanker pilot says something like "we have a wet hose". Is this phrase common?

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    $\begingroup$ "wet hose" probably means that there is fuel in the hose (which people should be aware of) rather than being wet from rain. $\endgroup$ – ratchet freak Mar 17 '15 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ There is a procedure: don't. $\endgroup$ – GdD Mar 17 '15 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ It always helps to add to questions like this, why you think that there might be something different. Rain is rain, but not all rain is equal. $\endgroup$ – Simon Mar 17 '15 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD I realise that was a comment rather than an answer but, still, more detail would be helpful. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Mar 17 '15 at 18:44
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    $\begingroup$ Air refueling in many cases is done at an altitude above any weather, so this is only rarely a factor, if ever $\endgroup$ – SSumner Mar 19 '15 at 23:45

If you're VMC and simply have rain falling, the procedure doesn't change, and it isn't a big deal (talking fixed wing refueling with a boom here; other communities' procedures/capabilities may be different). The receiver's windshield will have some amount of rain hitting it, but if it isn't particularly heavy rain then he should still be able to do the AR.

If the visibility is really bad because of the rain, or if you're getting into IMC, then that's the situation you have, irrespective of rain falling or not, and obviously you'd rather have better conditions for doing the refueling. Going IMC momentarily while you're hooked up may not be a big deal, as you can still see the tanker, but if you lose sight then the first priority is to get positive separation between the two aircraft.


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