DeltaGuy
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E-2 Hawkeye Question/Video

Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:30 pm

Okay, so it's obvious the E-2 guys have way too much time on their hands, they've come out with a handful of cool videos on youtube...this one is particularly good, to the tune of "Move Along" by the All American Rejects...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMMceEx72sE&mode=related&search=

My question- at about the 1:00 mark, they get a shot out of the open hatch of the top of the plane...during the catshot. Shows the grinning NFO too.

I'm familiar with carrier ops as I spent my childhood on flattops, tiger cruises, etc...that is, before wising up and joining the Air Farce. ; ) But how did they get this shot?

AAR90, I'm counting on you sir!

Thanks,
DeltaGuy
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AAR90
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RE: E-2 Hawkeye Question/Video

Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:40 pm

Watch closely near the very end of the video and you'll see the ACO --the guy in the last seat under the open ditching hatch-- pull the camera back inside the plane after a cat shot. Look how close his head is to the open hatch. Simply adjust your seat to the highest setting and hold your camera tight while pushing forward against the front sill of the open hatch with your arms. Sounds tough, but not that difficult really. An ACO with long arms helps though.  Wink

In my day squadrons would normally not have that hatch open for CV operations. Just not needed. After VAW-115 lost two crewmen (one under the open hatch) more squadrons took up the policy of removing the aft ditching hatch for all CV cats/traps (there are two places to lock the hatch cover in the aft cabin within reach while seated).
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2H4
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RE: E-2 Hawkeye Question/Video

Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:31 pm

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 1):
the policy of removing the aft ditching hatch for all CV cats/traps

Must have been fun in cold, rainy/snowy wx....


2H4

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DeltaGuy
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RE: E-2 Hawkeye Question/Video

Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:23 am

AAR90, thanks for the wonderful insight. I wasn't sure if it was standard practice to have the hatch open or not, but he's doing a good job of bracing the camera for the catshot.

I was thinking back to the old days of the Cougar, Banshee, etc, back when ejection seats weren't zero-zero, and all carrier ops were conducted with the canopy open in case they had to swim out of their ditched aircraft...I guess that would make some sense in an E-2 without ejection seats?

You hummer drivers have way too much fun looks like  Wink

DeltaGuy
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RE: E-2 Hawkeye Question/Video

Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:58 am

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 3):
I was thinking back to the old days of the Cougar, Banshee, etc, back when ejection seats weren't zero-zero, and all carrier ops were conducted with the canopy open in case they had to swim out of their ditched aircraft...

Even the F3H Demon drivers catapulted with canopy slid back ... and that was into the '60s, I believe.
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AAR90
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RE: E-2 Hawkeye Question/Video

Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:23 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 2):
Must have been fun in cold, rainy/snowy wx....

Never was a concern of mine. My squadron's thinking was that if the guy under the hatch (ACO seat) couldn't get the hatch out in less than 3 seconds, he shouldn't be sitting in the plane to begin with. Note: if removed _post_ mishap... nobody cares about "stowing" the hatch. Just throw it in the back of the plane... out of the way.  Wink

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 3):
I wasn't sure if it was standard practice to have the hatch open or not, but he's doing a good job of bracing the camera for the catshot.

I can't say it was "standard practice" as less than 1/3 of fleet squadrons had such a policy the last time I reviewed such data (cy 1990). Not sure about today as all of my contemporaries have been retired a number of years now.

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 3):
I was thinking back to the old days of the Cougar, Banshee, etc, back when ejection seats weren't zero-zero, and all carrier ops were conducted with the canopy open in case they had to swim out of their ditched aircraft...I guess that would make some sense in an E-2 without ejection seats?

The squadrons that used the "open-the-hatch" policy were primarily concerned about the plane falling off the side of the ship when parking (using reverse thrust to back up) with ~1/2 the plane (including the aft ditching hatch) hanging over the water. A single "oops" and the plane could easily flip upside-down into the sea. In VAW-115's mishap they lost the ACO who was sitting under the OPEN ditching hatch. Never did figure out what happened to him (or pilot in left seat). Only items found were their helmets sans mic cables.
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DeltaGuy
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RE: E-2 Hawkeye Question/Video

Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:41 am

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 5):
In VAW-115's mishap they lost the ACO who was sitting under the OPEN ditching hatch. Never did figure out what happened to him (or pilot in left seat). Only items found were their helmets sans mic cables.

Wow..pretty sobering stuff. I think everyone's lost count as to the amount of aircraft and heroes sitting at the bottom of the ocean. At least in the AF it's usually a detectable smoking hole.

I remember as a young boy watching "The Bridge at Toko-Ri" and seeing all those Banshees flying around the carrier with their canopies slid back. I asked my dad why they were doing that, he had to explain how seats weren't zero-zero back then...as odds would have it, a month later he experienced a carrier-level ejection from an A-7E....we still laugh about the irony even today.

So with regards to egreess in the E-2, you have a hatch over each pilot's heads, the ACO's hatch, and the entry/exit door? If you were to bail out, what's the best way to do that...feather the motor and swing out the open door?

The A-1 Skyraider had an interesting means of escape too....as did the A3D, or All Three Dead. Can't say I'd want to be on a boat without a nice rocket-charged seat!

DeltaGuy
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AAR90
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RE: E-2 Hawkeye Question/Video

Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:48 am

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 6):
Wow..pretty sobering stuff. I think everyone's lost count as to the amount of aircraft and heroes sitting at the bottom of the ocean.

Midway sent divers into the water (after sunrise) but they were unable to acertain if the bodies were in the plane or not (might be sunrise above surface, but still dark below). Rough sea state prevented any attempt to enter the fuselage. Plane broke up shortly after the divers were recovered. Eventually USN "sank" all the parts in 2000+ fathoms (to protect classified stuff).

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 6):
I asked my dad why they were doing that, he had to explain how seats weren't zero-zero back then...as odds would have it, a month later he experienced a carrier-level ejection from an A-7E....

I qual'd in T-2C.... a 0/75 knot seat. Not a good feeling sitting on the deck knowing you can neither eject nor climb out quickly. Then again, that was probably good training for my future Hawkeye days.  Wink

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 6):
So with regards to egreess in the E-2, you have a hatch over each pilot's heads, the ACO's hatch, and the entry/exit door? If you were to bail out, what's the best way to do that...feather the motor and swing out the open door?

Yes to your first question. Pilot hatches are "quick-opening" with a single-point handle one pulls down/aft. The hatch then drops slightly and slides aft on guide rails (I had to duck my head). In 115's mishap the CAPC (right seat) reported he broke his hand reaching for the handle (he didn't follow ditching procedures _exactly_ and his body floated out of his normal seated position), he panicked, calmed down, then felt around until he found the handle and opened the hatch (est. 10 seconds elapsed time) without further problem. It was never decided what happened to the pilot (left seat).
Bail-out is always tricky for pilots. The crew uses the main-entrance hatch and there is no requirement to feather an engine (the hatch is aft of the left prop by 3-1/2 feet) as the wind will move each crewmember aft in short order. In a "controlled" bail-out (plane is controllable by pilot) the moles are in good shape, but the last pilot out (should be CAPC) is hopefully small and coordinated. You have to exit your seat (difficult sitting still on deck), duck your head and step down (very small doorway) while exiting cockpit, make your way aft to the main entrance (BTW, autopilots normally don't work after a couple of weeks at sea) and then exit the (slightly larger) main entrance hatch. During drills I averaged 35 seconds to do the above... with the plane sitting static on the flight line at NKX ! ! !  covereyes 
With that in mind, the best thing to do was to keep an eye on everything in the cockpit because the Hawkeye seldom would do anything without "telling you" first.  wideeyed 
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