Why can jets and helicopters do a midair refuel with their engines running while cars and trucks are supposed to turn their engines off when getting gas or diesel?

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Why can jets and helicopters do a midair refuel with their engines running while cars and trucks are supposed to turn their engines off when getting gas or diesel?

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Have you seen people who drive? They are not highly skilled with years of specialized training and protocols to reduce risk…

It’s the extremely tiny risk of static discharge, better safe than sorry. In mid air refueling the drogue makes contact with the airplane, and is built to pass on any static discharge to the tanker’s airframe (which must be able to handle a high voltage). Refueling starts after all that is secure, no more chance of discharge.

You can fill up your car while the engine is running. They tell you to turn off your engine because people are retarded and a lot forget to remove the nozzle and rip it out of the tank and it’s expensive to replace

Jets and helicopters don’t have a choice, midair refueling is risky in a variety of ways, far far more risky than fueling a car at a gas station

It comes down to likelihood, and occurrence rate.

For cars, we refuel them *a lot*. In the US there are 276 million motor vehicles (bikes to full trucks) in the US, even if they only fill up once a week that’s 14 billion opportunities a year for something to go wrong. If turning off the engine reduces the chances of a serious incident from 5 in a billion to 4 in a billion that’s 20% reduction in serious incidents from 70 per year to 56, that’s pretty significant even though the odds of any single incident are low

Even if aerial refueling is 1,000x riskier, we only do at most a few thousand refueling per year so the odds of an incident in a year would only be 5% at most (assuming 10k attempts per year)

Safety regulations are written in blood, every time there’s a rule someone generally died to cause it. Refueling with your engine on is unlikely to cause an issue for *you* but across the broader population it increases the risk that *someone* will have a fire

Because people who make rules are stupid and don’t understand physics. They think “running engine burns gas, burning gas is bad when you have this HOSE of gas flowing in large volumes, therefore make a rule/law to prevent that.”

Once it’s established, it’s incredibly difficult to get it removed.

They are NEVER required to prove WHY this is an important rule or law. When questioned all they have to say is “It could ignite the gas and that would be bad”. Now 99% of people agree, “Yep that could be bad so we should just not allow that” and that’s all there is to it.

SO they pass these rules or laws and they stick and are never evaluated with science, logic and/or reason. Only fear.

The reality is – it’s safe to refill your car while it’s running under most circumstances. There are a few scenarios where this would make it dangerous but the chances of having an ignition incident is very, very small and the way it would happen are considered “freak accidents” by most. So it’s safe to refuel your car while it’s running.

There isn’t much to explain here. All vehicles can do it. Out of an abundance of caution we don’t do it with road cars but race cars do it all the time.

Along with everything else said here is ALSO the fact it’s NEVER a good idea to walk away from your car with the engine running. I’m SURE way too many cars have popped into gear or not been properly put in park and have rolled into traffic or the gas pumps or people or any number of things.

Living in the Arabian Gulf when we pull up to the gas station the attendant will laugh and tell you to leave you car running the next time you come to fill up. Living in Arctic climates, lots of people also leave their engines running when filling up.

Cars and trucks can safely refuel when they are running, you just need to be going at least 100-MPH, and be at least 50 feet away from any other vehicle. You must also use military grade refueling connections.

You can refuel with an engine running. It’s just out of a concern for theft mostly. Modern cars have a near zero chance of igniting the fuel being pumped in. Kinda why fuel tanks don’t explode. That said sparks from static can cause the fuel to ignite so touching your door as you get out is a good idea.

There is no good reason not to turn your car off while you refuel it. Modern cars are also perfectly safe to refuel while running. Old timey cars used to have gravity feed gas tanks in the engine compartment and distributors which produced sparks. There’s really no comparison.