The KC-767 is not a B-737 Max: Italian Air Force ensures that its tanker fleet is safe and fully operational

Italian Air Force Boeing KC-767A.

The Italian Air Force has published a media note to clarify the contents of the article posted by the Italian media outlet "Il Fatto Quotidiano", entitled “L’Aeronautica ha 4 velivoli a rischio, ma volano ancora" (The Air Force has 4 aircraft at risk, but they still fly). The Italian Air Force ensures that the four Boeing KC-767A tanker aircraft in service at the 14th Wing of Pratica di Mare, Rome - as well as all aircraft of the armed force - meet strict requirements and parameters of safety and efficiency in accordance with international standards.

The KC-767A of the Italian Air Force, as well as all modern aircraft, are equipped with safety systems designed to recognize the approach to a stall and consequent loss of lift and altitude. They allow the aircraft to correct this dangerous condition while maintaining the flight envelope.

Specifically, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) of the KC-767A is designed to provide additional information to the pilot about the status of the airplane through the forces to be applied to the flight controls in the case of high angle of attack (AOA ). MCAS has the authority to move the horizontal stabilizer under specific flight conditions. In addition, the KC-767A is also equipped with two redundant safety systems that inhibit any further unintended movement of the horizontal stabilizer. If the MCAS causes an undesirable flight condition, the pilots are regularly trained to use both safety systems.

Considering that the MCAS system adopted on the KC-767A of the Italian Air Force is different from that of the Boeing 737 Max, the armed force has not introduced specific training for the crews operating on the platform. They already follow rigorous training protocols that are periodically performed with simulators and in-flight missions. These training activities include the management of different types of emergencies and critical issues, including the procedures to be adopted in case of undesired movement of the horizontal stabilizer.

The KC-767As of the Italian Air Force are used for different types of missions, both for the transport of personnel and materials, and for the in-flight refueling of other aircraft. To date, the KC-767A fleet of the Italian Air Force has carried out over 26,000 flight hours and over 6,400 missions around the world to support Italian military contingents operating abroad under NATO or international coalition directives, to perform international exercises and to deliver first aid during humanitarian emergencies.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source: Italian Air Force

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