144 – Flying from Aircraft Carriers

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This is the long-awaited episode on flying from aircraft carriers. Our guest is Scotty Bates who flew from US carriers in the 70s. We discuss all aspects of carrier aviation including training, cat shots, arrested landing, pattern work and how all of it changes at night or in bad weather. Scotty had a few additional remarks/corrections after the recording:

  • Some Navy aircraft do have self or onboard starting capability. I know the T-45 Goshawk does but I don’t know about any other carrier aircraft that may also have that capability.
  • Ordnance safety pins are pulled just prior to spotting the aircraft on the catapult, not before.
  • Communications: the sound attenuators worn by the flight deck personnel actually contain radio sets, not sound-powered phones.
  • Catapult shots take somewhere between 2-3 seconds but closer to 2.
  • During day ops each squadron has a rep in Pri-Fly just as they do for night ops in CATCC
  • ACLS mode 1A approaches can be decoupled by the pilot as well
  • Alternative “needles” approach system is not a radar, it is more like an ILS
  • LSOs can also call Left for Lineup
  • While aircraft with a total engine failure is not allowed to land, it is occasionally possible for a multi-engine aircraft with one good engine to land if there is sufficient wind

Here are the regular links:

… and the two Stephen Coonts Audiobooks: