by Airman 1st Class Tara Fadenrecht
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
10/20/2015 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The
22nd Air Refueling Wing flight safety office welcomed approximately 100
attendees, including more than 35 participants who arrived on base via
non-military aircraft to the Midair Collision Avoidance Fly-in seminar
Oct. 17, here.
There are more than 70 airfields within 75 miles of base, and McConnell
aircraft have recently experienced several hazardous air traffic
reports, including one in which two aircraft came within one nautical
mile and 500 feet of each other, requiring KC-135 Stratotanker pilots to
suddenly divert from their air traffic control issued flight path.
"It's important for us to work with our partners throughout the Wichita
area," said Maj. John Stock, 22nd ARW flight safety chief. "Midair
collisions can cost more than just the money it would take to repair a
damaged aircraft; lives are at stake, both of the crew and the people on
the ground below them."
The event welcomed approximately 100 attendees, including more than 35 participants who arrived on base via aircraft.
Speakers representing various agencies including the base flight safety
office, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Bird/Wildlife
Aircraft Strike Hazard program, spoke to attendees regarding aviation
safety in an effort to keep everyone in the sky safe.
"I think [the MACA seminar] was important," said Barry Coates, FAA air
traffic control specialist. "It's good to get the military and the
general aviation [community] together. It's nice that they can get
together, talk to each other and figure out what's working for one and
not the other and maybe get some dialogue for better ideas as to what
they can do to make things safer."
After the seminar, participants were given a closer look at a KC-135
Stratotanker. Attendees walked through the static display and were able
to sit in the pilot's seat and go down in the boom pod to end the
"The goal for the MACA was to spread the word on midair collision
avoidance," Stock said. "We want to try and be proactive in preventing
any near midair collisions, and we did that today."