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PostPosted: 04 Oct 2021, 07:19 
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Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 14:21
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We were treated to a very rare sighting of a Royal Saudi Air Force Boeing RE-3A TASS (Tactical Airborne Surveillance System) arriving for an overnight stop at RAF Waddington, en-route to the USA for maintenance and upgrades. It arrived unannounced, no surprise, on Thursday 30 Sept and news soon made the rounds.

Departure from Waddington to the USA was scheduled for the morning of Friday 1 Oct and when I arrived soon after 08:00 there were already some stepladders at the fenceline. The strobes and engines started at 10:00, we waited and waited, and waited some more until 14:40 when the engines were powered down, the crew door opened and crew disembarked. Our news and information was that the original flight plan was amended before boarding and take-off, and the amended flight plan was having difficulty in passing scrutiny and acceptance by the aviation authorities.

The crew re-embarked later and listening to radio scanners we deduced that departure clearance had been given, so strobes on, engines re-started and the RSAF Boeing moved from its hardstanding at 16:15, taxiing for take-off from runway 20 (north-east side).
Of course the comments and banter along the fenceline, as to what and how it all went bottoms-up regarding the botched departure, you can imagine! Part and parcel of this affair was that the RSAF Airbus A330 MRTT tanker, which accompanied the Boeing 'spy plane' was similarly delayed, at the East Midlands Airport near Nottingham, where it overnighted.

The RSAF Boeing RE-3A finally lifted off from the Waddington runway at 16:24.

RSAF roundels - very few markings on the aircraft.
Image

Image
by Marius Bekker, on Flickr

Image
by Marius Bekker, on Flickr

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Last edited by Tally-ho on 12 Oct 2021, 10:36, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 04 Oct 2021, 07:54 
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004, 17:19
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Great catch! Some serious spotting dedication there. =D>

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PostPosted: 04 Oct 2021, 19:44 
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Joined: 12 Apr 2011, 20:49
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Indeed a good catch! =D>


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PostPosted: 04 Oct 2021, 22:06 
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Joined: 18 Sep 2004, 20:33
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Damn I just missed it! I was right thereabouts until noon on Thursday.


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PostPosted: 04 Oct 2021, 22:29 
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Joined: 03 May 2005, 08:40
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Location: Whangarei, New Zealand
That's a big nose :^o .

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