Aerial Refueling Boom Operator to Address Aero Club Gathering

USAF retiree Fred Bookwalter spent many years as an aircraft Boom Operator, maneuvering a drogue attached to the end of a boom on air tanker refueling aircraft. Hear all about it during Bookwalter’s presentation at the Sun Lakes Aero Club’s gathering on Monday, Nov. 27, at the Lecture Hall located at the Cottonwood Country Club. The public is invited to attend.

Gary Vacin

A U.S. Air Force retiree who spent 12 years as an aircraft refueling operator will be the guest speaker at the Sun Lakes Aero Club’s Nov. 27 gathering.

The group will meet at a new location, the Lecture Hall at the Cottonwood Country Club, and a new time, the fourth Monday, November through April. The Lecture Hall is situated just inside the west entrance to the Computer Learning Center at what was formerly the gymnasium.

The event begins with camaraderie at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The speaker will be Aero Club member Fred Bookwalter who will talk about his 20-year Air Force career. Much of his presentation will focus on his 12 years as a Boom Operator (aircraft refueling operator) where he flew more than 2,500 hours in KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft.

He was involved in air refueling during events that included the bombing of Libya, fighter deliveries to the Shaw of Iran, refueling reconnaissance aircraft over Granada, refueling numerous aircraft during the Vietnam Conflict, and air refueling support to the British in their efforts to support the Falkland Islands.

His job involved operating a drogue attached to the end of the boom at the back of the aircraft with the intent of inserting the drogue into an opening on the receiving aircraft’s fuel tank.

The Aero Club will not get together in December, because the fourth Monday of the month occurs on Christmas Day. Future speakers will be announced in upcoming Splash issues.

Additional information on the Aero Club is available from Cannon Hill at 509-539-7857 or Gary Vacin at 480-298-7017.