Patrick D. McCaslin Interview, 11 November 2000

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PMRight. So we could skin paint the 135 and then maneuver, and we would be able to pick it up out of sight before the pilots could see it, and then call for a turn or whatever needed to align the aircraft for refueling.
JKNow let me ask you, my understanding is that although that antenna is steerable somewhat, that it's in the front of the aircraft—
JK—and that it's area of detection is roughly 90 degrees from the nose in both directions.
PMNo, it had a full scan.
JKOh, went all the way around so you could see behind you as well?
PMSure. I mean there was a dark spot as I remember it, right behind the aircraft, just behind the aircraft. Yeah, there was a shadow just from the fuselage. But you could see a lot more than 90 degrees. And it had a full scan, and a sector scan capability so you could full scan the thing, did a full 360 degree turn and then sector scan it, it scanned, I wanna say 30-40 degrees either side of—maybe 45 degrees either side of the center line.
JKI'm guessing that as you would approach a tanker you would go into that?
PMWe, actually you go into sector scan, my memory is that it was a full scan, but the radar energy—the antenna was directed—instead of looking straight out, it was directed more downward, and it kind of focused the energy a little bit. That's what allowed you to be able skin paint. As I remember it, there was no knob to say, OK we're gonna put it at 20 degrees up-tilt, or 10 degrees up—tilt, I remember that. But we could go sector scan.
JKOK so it was a mode, and in that mode it might elevate the antenna.
PM asked to go to sector scan...or to station keep because that was the mode that elevated—that put the most energy near the airplane, and we were climbing out toward the VOR, and I remember the Radar Navigator, the guy on my left, you know, we were back in the local area and it was late. It was—I forget what time—it was early in the morning I want to say one-two something like that, early, very early in the morning and he was kind of dozing off over there, and we're just kind of monitoring the approach and I had the approach plate out and was watching. It's not unusual, by the way, to put it in station keep in the local area when we're doing that because you can help watch for other aircraft in the area, and collision avoidance, things like that. But as we were climbing out and approaching the VOR, I remember I noticed off to the right on the radar a faint return about three miles out, which would have made it to the north—
JKOK, you were headed west.

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