Daar gaat hij airborne. Wat een herrie. De in-flight refeuling tube boven op de cockpit is hier goed te zien. In grote haast geïnstalleerd tijdens de Falkland Oorlog. Ik sprak bemanningsleden die de refuelings hadden meegemaakt. De ongeoefendheid van de vliegers en de afmeting van de kist, die snelle veranderingen niet toestond, maakte dat bij velen van hen het “bijna” dun door de broek liep.
Ook de niet perfecte water (fuel) dichtheid van het systeem baarde de bemanning soms grote zorgen.
Niet geheel onterecht blijkt uit een ongeval door dit systeem.
The aircraft is believed to have suffered a fuel leak or overflow during mid-air refuelling while it was monitoring a NATO offensive against Taliban insurgents west of Kandahar. The investigation found that fuel most probably travelled from a fuel tank blow-off valve on the starboard side of the lower-forward fuselage into an aft bay near the root of the starboard wing which contained hot air ducting pipes, where it saturated compressed insulation contained within a shrouding, holding the fuel against a hot air pipe until it reached auto-ignition temperature and caught fire.
The fire was first noted when smoke accumulated in the bomb-bay, leading the pilot to report a fire in his bomb-bay. He tried to reach Kandahar air base, taking the aircraft down from 23,000 to 3,000 feet (7,010 to 910 metres) in 90 seconds. An RAF Harrier aircraft followed the Nimrod down and the pilot saw a wing explode, followed a few seconds later by the rest of the aircraft.
The crash site was about 25 miles (40 kilometres) west-north-west of Kandahar Airfield (which is located 10 miles (16 kilometres) south-east of the city of Kandahar) between two villages called Chil Khor and Fatehullah Qala in the Panjwaye District. Witnesses included local men Abdul Manan, Afshan Hararoot and Haji Eisamuddin.
Twelve RAF personnel, a Royal Marine and a British Army soldier aboard the Nimrod MR2, XV230 were killed. A board of inquiry report was released in December