Friday, January 14, 2011

You Know Who You Are. . .


  1. Hehehe... It REALLY helps when the nose gear stays attached to the airplane... :-)

  2. Hey! I resemble that remark! Computers are flying the planes now you know! (With a little input from the meat bag up front but still!!, LOL!)

    wv- seamn- The people that will have to clean this mess up!

  3. Just for the record, those of us who cannot fly for medical reasons (f'rinstance, a diabetic, like me) are eating our hearts out everytime a plane flies overhead. I fly the computer because I can't fly IRL. Doesn't mean I don't want to...

  4. For those of us not well versed in carrier aviation please explain what has just happened in the photo. Did the catapult break the nose gear on launch or is this a botched landing where the nose gear broke? I'm thinking the former but after watching NFO's linked videos I might believe the latter. Not sure of which area of the deck we're seeing the way the photo is cropped. Looks like a very bad day either way.

  5. How about a full electrical failure in a Cessna at night over a busy airport that you now can't talk to even though you're in the middle of a traffic pattern full of commercial jets that now can't see you?

    Does that at least get me on the board?

  6. Dad Anthony flew a Consolidated B-24 in the Pacific Theater. Not a pretty beast, just one helluva workhorse. I talked with his wing commander after pop died. Wally told me that the old man flew between 48 and 52 missions in and around the Philippines, twice the number required. Guess it wasn't unusual for crews to just suck it up an deal with what needed to be done.

    Dad said the B-24's were ungainly on take off and landing. Evidently the pilot and co had to crane their heads our of the cockpit to see the tarmac, given the geometry of the bird. Once in the air, they were dead on stable...Like a frikken White Freightliner.


    After Dad had his first stroke, I took him to the Pima Air Museum, next to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. It was early spring, warm enough to walk about with just sweaters. Outside, in the boneyard, we found a B-24J, much like what Dad flew. We walked around it and he talked. It was the first time he had really opened up. Halting speech, from the stroke, but clear and strong. How the big radial engines tough it was to board, but great to fly. One of the docents came by, saw us pointing, talking and laughing....

    He asked Dad about his history...and invited him, with help, to enter the old bird.

    One of the only times I had ever seen Dad get tears........He said sumpin like "No, I've done that way too many times already....just let it be."

    Dad died little more than a year later....another stroke.


    Yeah, the last time I was down in Tucson, when Mum died, the A-10 Warthogs were flying maneuvers. They have to be my favorite modern attack flight platforms.

    Not much seen around here...HOWEVER!
    I still run outside like a kid when I hear the Chinooks from Peterson AFB come flying over.

    Sumpin' about the workhorses.

  7. Hey! I flew a Cox PT-19 trainer with the high output .049 engine a few laps once.

    Yeah, I was a little dizzy afterwards but I didn't fall down.

  8. And next I guess you going to tell me I'm not really a level 80 Paladin to...



  9. Reminds me of one of my freinds who was a P3 Orion, pilot. He was getting ragged on by another friend, the Ops officer for the airfield. He was asking why the P3's almost always declared an emergency when approaching the airfield. We were in Northern Japan in January at the time. The p3 pilot simply answered that coming in with one engine out and two inches of ice on the wings wasn't an emergency, he didn't want to see one.

  10. I still feel the addition of a nose gear was unnecessary. Only good pilots will agree with me there.

  11. Hat Trick - Hell of a question. The steam from the catapult indicates a launch, but either there was some sort of disastrous nose landing gear failure, or the catapult didn't accelerate the aircraft enough and it is simply nosing over into the water. Big eyes time, either way.

    Brigid - Happy to help :-)


  12. Hat Trick, that's a Hornet being launched from catapult number 4 in the driving rain. The rain is creating a water cloud around the aircraft as it launches. As tough as that looks, it's harder to land in those conditions.
    I would have been one of the two idiots back by the jet blast deflector with my thumb in the air signaling to the catapult crew that the aircraft was good to launch. It's a young man's game, and I am no longer one of them.
    Matt, I don't know what he was complaining about, the P-3 has four engines. ;)
    SavaShip, aircraft need nosewheels to hook up to catapults. The Air Force can fly the taildraggers. ;)
    Brigid, glad you're on the mend.

  13. I was headed for a helluva wreck in my single cockpit but the manager from Walmart managed to unplug it in time.

  14. Same old story the mechanics give a perfectly good airplane to a pilot and y'all bring it back a malfunctioning wreck, occasionally on fire.

  15. Fly?
    Lemme see...I have no feathers nor wings...
    No fly here!!

    Get the heebee geebees just thinking about!!

    Oh I have flown. That I have done...

    No can stand it...

  16. Looking at that picture thats not a crash but a regular launch. Not smoke its steam. They all they all nose down like that when the luanch an they will drop 5 to 10 feet once the leave the end of the deck. If the was falure at the front you would see sparks and light and the plane hasn't left deck its just at the end of the #3 catapult.

    That's what I see,

  17. Larry I was think #3 as the catapults do that nearowing coming together at the end but you would know; as I only watched them from the observation deck. I was a HT on CVN- 71.

  18. Brigid,
    The first thoughts thru my head were of two "REAL" pilots....My Dad and Kirby Grant, star of Sky King:

    Loved that show! -AND- very glad to hear you are feeling better...obviously feisty!

  19. Ps. Larry never did find that bowling alley...


  20. Brigid, glad to hear you are feeling better even if the results aren't fully in yet.

    While I do not have the breadth of flight experience you do and the worst in flight failure I can claim is landing light burning out during night landings, I think I can still relate to the real aviators standard as my all time favorite plane to fly (so far) was a 1947 Aeronica Champ: had to be hand propped, fabric wings, no radios, whiskey compass, RPM indicator, oil pressure, a piece of metal attached to a cork poking through the gas cap in front of the windscreen for a gas gauge and not much else. That plane would spin and slip as easy as you please. It cemented my love for simple tail draggers.

  21. Hat Trick- That photo is 'probably' off Kitty Hawk about three years ago, during a winter op off Japan. The F-18 "crouches" for takeoff, unlike the Phantom and Turkey who's nose strut is at max extension so that the bridle doesn't slap what ever was loaded on the centerline hard point.

    This pic is off #4 cat, so my guess is the bridle just released (creating the steam pulse you see) and the elevators are full up (anticipating clearing the deck edge). The 3 and 4 cats are shorter, so more 'power' is required due to the shorter runs. Nominal cat stroke is 250 feet and end speed is programmed for stall plus 10 kts based on acft weight. That is why you see the pilots being shown a weight board just prior to launch. The hope is that they have enough wind over the deck and steam to actually MEET the plan, but they don't always get it. During the 1st Gulf War, a buddy was a shooter on Sara, and he was shooting at +3 kts as that was all they could get due to temps, lack of wind and DA.

  22. Back when I was first learning to fly, there was a local Yankee (the airplane, not some Northerner) that had the annoying habit of leaving the nose gear at the end of the runway.

  23. Larry, NFO, and Brigid,

    Thanks for clearing that up. I've never seen a still photo at that point in a launch of an F-18. The angle at which the tail is pointing up makes it appear that the nose would be on the deck and I was probably influenced by your first comment in thinking that the nose gear had come off. :-)

  24. Hat Trick- My bad... Having seen a nose gear get ripped off by the bridle, I was 'joking' concerning the position of the bird at deck edge. It's an in joke if you ever served on a carrier, that I didn't explain. The $64 dollar question if crap flies off the pointy end after a shot is whether it was a wheel, the entire nose gear or the bridle/shuttle assembly.


  25. and for Old NFO and Brigid's enjoyment - one of my favorite old dive shirts is still the one that says "Fly Navy, Divers Need the Work" with the picture of an F-14 being winched onto a deck...

  26. Pull back, go up; push forward, go down. Disregard - we're inverted.

  27. @B.- Thanks for your gracious reply to my opening shot! I would consider it an honor and privilege to be in the right hand seat with you!

    I fear that all I could do however is to tell you that the APU is running! I failed big time on the Piedmont Airlines 727 simulator in Winston and also found out that if you have no engines on a F-4 simulator at Seymour-Johnson AFB at altitude that the glide ratio of an F-4 is about the same as a brick!

  28. You know, stories like these remind me why I was a groundhog. Never met the airframe that you could dig a fighting position in.

  29. My dad used to ask you know what the difference between a crash and a landing is to a Navy Pilot?

    If you walk away from it.

    He was a jet mechanic in the Air Force. When he was station in Okinawa, maybe it was the Philippines, early 60's the Navy and the Air Forces both used the air field where he was stationed.
    When the Air Forces would come in for a landing it would be all nice and smooth with bearly any smoke off the wheels at touch down.
    When the Navy guys came in for a land he couldn't watch as it was like physical assault on the run way with the plane as the weapon of battery. They would come in just like they where landing on a Carrier and just slam into the run way.
    He was like at lest I don't have to work on them.

  30. Might be cat 3, I was thinking 4 because it looked pretty square with the deck edge, but it's also kinda far away from the edge to be cat 4. Waist cat either way.
    No bridles on Toms or Hornets, and the Tom's nose gear collapsed for launch, not extended. It's been a loooong time since the Navy had bridle launched aircraft, the last one IIRC was the A-3 that was retired in the late 80's. I think the Phantoms had been traded in for Hornets to fly off of Midway and Coral Sea by then as well.
    I don't know what carrier it was, but it wasn't a Forrestal class. I've seen rain like that on many occasions though, I think the ship drivers found rain to sail through on purpose just to see us deck apes get soaked.
    I never found the bowling alley, but I did find the pool. Too bad it was the parts pool.

  31. Larry I think you and Old NFO got it right. I was not sure of the depth of field in the picture and it's been 14years sence I saw any launch.

  32. And a word from the ADJ's among us, it looked like he was in full burner and lots of up on the pitch axis controls, so I'd say he was at the end of the launch stroke!


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