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Old 08-23-2008, 09:55 AM   #1  
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Default Question about ALTRAVs

This question is for some ATC professional or the tanker pilots out there who work with ALTRAVS all the time.

My understanding of an ALTRAV is that it is basically a reserved block of airspace, typically used for large formations of aircraft, in this instance a KC-10 with a flight of Hornets on the wing (a Cornet North mission with altitudes 250B270)

My question results from a call from Oakland Center yesterday for a deviation from our planned course for traffic around Sacramento on our way back to Lemoore. Now if it makes a difference, we had already departed the tanker, but the Hornets remained on the ALTRAV while the tanker climbed above the block altitude and continued on as a single to a different destination.

The question from all of this is: Isn't it strange to give a flight of 6 a deviation for traffic when flying on an ALTRAV flight plan? It seems that the traffic wouldn't be in our block of airspace, couldn't we have climbed or descended to the top or bottom of our block, and finally, isn't it easier to deviate ONE aircraft rather than multiple aircraft?

Thanks for any insight in advance.

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Old 08-23-2008, 03:27 PM   #2  
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it all depends on the other aircraft. if it is an emergency, they will move everybody. the other thing is if the kc10 left you and then canceled the altrav, oakland center will not keep it for you guys, that has happened before.
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:16 PM   #3  
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Two types of ALTRVs...Moving and Stationary. The stationary one encompases just your refueling track. I'm a former KC-130 Nav. We would usualy use stationary ALTRVs because our speed differential was too large to fly formation with the recievers. The moving one,...well, moves with you as you fly your route. Sounds like you were on a moving ALTRV post tank. Provided the ALTRV was planned to terminate at your base and not the tanker base, you were supposed to have priority. Howerver as was pointed out above, your traffic may have been an emergency ac, or the KC-10 may have canx the ALTRV as he left. Were you guys in standard formation?
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:37 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunnerV View Post
Two types of ALTRVs...Moving and Stationary. The stationary one encompases just your refueling track. I'm a former KC-130 Nav. We would usualy use stationary ALTRVs because our speed differential was too large to fly formation with the recievers. The moving one,...well, moves with you as you fly your route. Sounds like you were on a moving ALTRV post tank. Provided the ALTRV was planned to terminate at your base and not the tanker base, you were supposed to have priority. Howerver as was pointed out above, your traffic may have been an emergency ac, or the KC-10 may have canx the ALTRV as he left. Were you guys in standard formation?
Thanks Angry and Gunner.
No - it was definitely a moving ALTRAV. Guess an emergency aircraft could have been one reason but let's assume that it would have been less than 1% chance for arguments sake. Second option - guess the ALTRAV could have been canceled by the tanker though it seems unlikey for two reasons. Number one - the brief said that we would continue on the ALTRAV and in the 250B270 which we did and the tanker left the block for an assigned altitude and second - I figured that if the ALTRAV was canceled then we wouldn't have maintained a block altitude clearance - but that is just me guessing. From tip to tip we were probably a little outside of standard formation at times. After a long time on the tanker and in the weather - I know some guys took a little wider formation for the comfort factor >G<

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