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Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:25 am

I look at photos of aircrafts on aircraft carrier, seen movies of flight ops on a aircraft carrier CV/CVN. I seen how flight operates on a LHA/LHD is run in person, but I heard that Harriers are nothing compared to a F-14, F/A-18 and EA-6. I been told that when a F-14 do a super sonic fly by, you could feel the sonic boom all over these giant 80,000 to 100,000 ton ships. I herd that flight operation on an aircraft carriers is one of the greatest shows you will ever see. So any body who ever served on a CV/CVN I would like to hear some story. Thank you.
 
LMP737
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:12 am

Carrier ops could be called the greatest show on earth. Especially if your right in the middle of it. I worked final checkers on the cats. Those are the guys wearing the checker board jerseys and float coats. We gave the final once over for the aircraft before launch. Nothing like being next to a Tomcat when it's in full burner. One thing I was not to crazy about working up by the cat's(catapults) is when the A-6's and EA-6B's would launch. Both are powered by the J-52 turbo jet. When at mil power they emit an almost ear splitting high pitch shriek. Even with double hearing protection it would hurt! Probably explains why my hearing is not the best in the world.
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JohnJ
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:49 am

I've gotten the opportunity twice under unusual circumstances. My brother served in F-14 squadron VF-14 onboard the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy. After a deployment, the Navy would hold what's known as a "Dependents' Day" on the carrier. My brother asked me and my wife to tag along with his family after one deployment. For the event we started out early one morning from Norfolk with no aircraft aboard the carrier. This was probably around 1990 or so. We went about 20 miles out to sea, and they ran a demo of the various weapon systems, followed by an A-7 Corsair dropping some bombs into the ocean a few miles out. Then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a Tomcat flying low over the carrier deck. It flew well past my line of vision without making any sound whatsoever, then all of a sudden "BOOOOM" - the sonic boom almost knocked you off your feet, and the whole ship vibrated. Kids were crying, adults were covering their ears - in short, it was awesome. What followed was a series of carrier landings and takeoffs by every aircraft type operating on the Kennedy then - E2s, A6s, EA-6Bs, F-14s, S-3s. One by one the aircraft flew out from Oceana or Norfolk NAS, landed on the carrier, then took off again from the bow cats. It really was "the greatest show on earth" as you put it. We had access to much of the ship, and saw the room where the arresting gear is located and also the catapult equipment. Lunch (awful hot dogs) was served on the hangar deck and there were also a lot of porta-potties lacking deodorizer down there.

The following year after the Kennedy returned from the Gulf War they did the same thing. My wife and I went back, and my parents from Memphis came along, too. The Tomcat did the sonic boom again, but the event narrator warned the crowd that it would happen, so it wasn't quite as much fun. It was a very long day - we left port around 5 a.m. and had to wait out at sea until past 8 p.m. for the tide to come in so we could clear the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. For a long time I rode up in one of the swiveling chairs in a room in the bridge overlooking the flight deck, which was nice. My brother is no longer in the Navy, so this was a once (actually twice)-in-a-lifetime experience. What I would give now to have had my Canon 300D back then!! As it is all I managed were some fuzzy snapshots.
 
YANQUI67
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:44 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 1):
One thing I was not to crazy about working up by the cat's(catapults) is when the A-6's and EA-6B's would launch. Both are powered by the J-52 turbo jet. When at mil power they emit an almost ear splitting high pitch shriek. Even with double hearing protection it would hurt!

I know exactly what you are saying. Those EA-6Bs were the loudest mofos in the world. Double hearing protection and squeezing on the ears could not prevent the noise from penetrating. Thank God, that the VAQ squadrons only had 5 jets! I was an F-14A Avionics tech and the boat was freaking crazy and especially at night. Lots of things to get you killed. I would like to go back for a couple of days, forget about a 6 month cruise.
Agustin Anaya
 
sidishus
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:43 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 1):
One thing I was not to crazy about working up by the cat's(catapults) is when the A-6's and EA-6B's would launch. Both are powered by the J-52 turbo jet. When at mil power they emit an almost ear splitting high pitch shriek.

Believe it or not, the old F-3H Demon was even louder that what was then known as the A-2Fs!!...

the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
 
AirRyan
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:02 pm

Sitting in my CH-46 on the bow in the pit doing my business (avionics) and having a Harrier jet by for a rolling takeoff was kind of cool if somewhat discomforting.

Standing at a good 30 degree incline so a CH-53E's rotorwash doesn't blow you over was certainly entertaining at the least.

Watching a AV-8B+ land right in front of you between the sound and the heat of it's engine was needless to say an experience.

But watching a Harrier fail to establish a hover while right off to the starboard of the flight deck, the pilot ejecting and the plane falling straight into the drink with the hot jet exhaust turn to white smoke as the saltwater immediately shut down that Rolls Royce forever, well while priceless might sound like the cliche answer it was nevertheless a little dissapointing to see the loss of a good airplane. I'm not sure whether or not the pilot lost his wings but he was sent home from the deployment.
 
gocaps16
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:20 pm

Carrier air ops is amazing. One of the best thing ever happened in my life. During my last deployment, we had a few scary incidents happened. S-3 collision into terrain, killing all the crew, we lost one of my jets, an F-14 in the ocean during work ups near San Diego, CA...apparently it was engine failure so the first person they walked to was the powerplant shop becuase of fuel-flow transmitter's bolts wasn't torqued and the last but not least, having an F-14 on emergency while the nose gear was stuck during tiger cruise...alot of freinds and family of the crew were scared thinking it might crash. The flight deck was secured to them, I was on the flight deck watching him land...the nose wheel dropped and was locked and landed safely.

The highlight of my deployment last year was the F-14s high speed fly-by, flying over the ship probably no less then 100ft in the air. They'll fly up and suprise you and then "BOOM BOOOM" two very loud sonic booms..it scared the hell outta me. We had two F-14s becuase it was the last F-14 squadron on a western pacific cruise. The Roosevelt air wing's show will be even better having TWO F-14 squadron on their last deployment before decom.

I worked test cell while on cruise. Every night, we'll run a jet engine on the back of the ship to to make sure the multi-million dollar JEDI computers are working properly so if we were to tear an engine down and built it from scratch, we had to test it before we send it back to the squadron. Being 3 ft away from a J-52, F110, or even a F404/414 is amazing at full afterburner. Nevertheless, we had an engine fire on the augmentor section on the F110s while performing test cell...that really scared us as we thought it was gonna blow. We let the engine idle for 2 minutes til the flames disappeared and did an emergency shut down and evacuated.

Kevin

[Edited 2005-08-12 07:26:57]
 
AirRyan
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:12 am

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 6):
we lost one of my jets, an F-14 in the ocean during work ups near San Diego, CA..

I remember seeing that in the news, damn fine waste of an F-14D!
 
LMP737
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Sat Aug 13, 2005 8:32 am

Another thing I remember about the flight deck is the smell. It's a combination of sea air, machinery, jet exhaust and steam off the catapults. The steam was not what you would smell from a boiling pot of water. It has this dirty, mechanical odor to it. Kind of hard to explain.

If you want to get an idea what it's like go to the USS Midway in San Diego. While it's not as big as the super carriers of today it's bigger than carriers like the Intrepid.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:38 am

One smell that'll greet you as you're walking up the brow, and long after you've come home and unpacked your seabags, is the smell of JP-5 and machine oil. The jet fuel pipelines run all over the ship, and the smell of that oil permiates through the ac system. Even on old decommissioned carriers the smell still permiates. Kinda grows on you after awhile.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
gocaps16
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RE: Have Any Of You Watched Flight Ops On A Carrier

Sat Aug 13, 2005 5:00 pm

I've heard the techreps who go on deployment with us (Boeing, Vertex, and Northrop Grumman) get's the crappiest berthing on the ship. Located one below from the flight deck, aft. Imagine working night shift and sleeping during the day and hearing 10 trapped landings in 3 minutes and be able to see the arresting gear cables from your rack.

Luckily, for me, my command's berthing is the foward section of the ship which limits the noise but still hear the catapults launching the aircraft airborne. I still have that distinction sound in my head. It's a pain in the butt hearing it all day during flight ops, but somewhat you'll get used to it.

Being inside hanger bay 3 has a cool noise when the aircraft slams down on the deck. Inside a carrier is very noisey wherever you go except for the gym.  Smile You have to know how to shout to your fellow shipmates and Marines onboard. But nothing beats watching flight ops on the flight deck standing next to the foul line.

Kevin

[Edited 2005-08-13 10:04:08]

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