Category Archives: planes


Landing aboard a carrier is much different than a conventional landing ashore, so carrier aviators spend a lot of time practicing. But before they go to sea, they practice ashore, mimicking as closely as possible the carrier environment, in a routine known as Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP), or “bouncing.”

Similarly, the AV-8B and F-35B use a unique approach to landing aboard the Navy’s big deck amphibious warfare ships of the LHD and LHA classes.  The normal routine is to make an approach from astern of the ship, but offset to parallel the port side.  When alongside the desired landing spot, the jet then slides sideways to starboard until it is over the landing spot. Only then does it descend vertically, and then simply taxies out of the way for the next jet.

In order to train for this, MCAS Yuma, AZ actually has an auxiliary field that is shaped and marked like the deck of an LHD, and pilots routinely practice there.

Say what you will about the pros and cons of the program, but it certainly is interesting to watch.


Filed under marines, planes

Snort’s Famous Fly-by: The Rest of the Story

One of the more iconic pictures of the mighty Grumman F-14 Tomcat is of CDR Dale “Snort” Snodgrass making a knife edge pass along the port side of the USS America in 1988.

Tomcat Low Pass

Here’s the story of the man who took the photo ABE3 Sean Dunn. Be sure to visit the page, as he has a lot more pictures.


Filed under planes

The Importance of a Proper Pre-Flight Inspection

Of course, I share your concern for the kitteh, but note, this could have easily turned ugly. The cat was inside the wing, you know, where the control cables run? It’s not beyond conception that the cat could have jammed a control at an inopportune time, and led to a crash.


Filed under planes

Fighter Fling 2003

Annually, each aircraft type community in the Navy has a weeklong combination symposium, award ceremony, and social function.  In the late, lamented F-14 Tomcat community, this was known as the Fighter Fling. And at the annual black tie dinner, the tradition has become to show a video highlight of significant events of the past year, with all the squadrons in the community contributing footage.  This was one of the last celebrations, as the last Tomcats left the fleet in 2005.

While I greatly enjoy the splodey in the middle, probably the neatest little bit was the cat launch with the gunnery tow target.

The Apollo 13 stuff alludes to the Tomcat community, with a lot of hard work, and very little support from anybody, decided to add the capability of integrating the LANTRIN targeting pod to the jet, giving it an outstanding precision air to ground capability. NAVAIR, the systems manager for all thing Naval Aviation didn’t come up with the idea. The F-14 community just kinda decided to do it, and did so.

1 Comment

Filed under navy, planes

Titusville Warbird Museum

The really cool thing about this blog is that I can share my vacation photos, and no one seems to mind too much.

The official name of the museum is Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum, and the docent was kind and indulgent to the nerds in our little group. (Engineers can’t help it.)
We got to stick our heads in the bomb bay of this B-25.
DSCN0064 crop
Continue reading


Filed under Air Force, history, marines, navy, Personal, planes, World War II

Friday Flyby- Part 2 The F4U Diamond Anniversary

On this day in 1940, one of the most successful fighter aircraft of all time first took to the skies. The F4U Corsair would be the first fighter to exceed 400mph in level flight, go on to be produced until 1953 in sixteen different variants, and actually see combat into the 1960s!

File:XF4U-1 NACA 1940.jpeg


A part of our affinity for the Corsair stems from the fact that our father flew them during the early 1950s while in the Reserves. And greatly enjoyed it, in spite of almost killing himself once.


Filed under history, navy, planes

Friday Flyby- Part 1

So, I’m stealing the title from OAFS, but I think he’ll forgive me. I get to see quite a few H-60 helicopters overhead here, normally MH-60R or MH-60S from NAS North Island (there’s no way I can see well enough to tell a Romeo from a Sierra from the ground), but today I looked up and saw what is almost certainly an Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk. I suppose it’s just possible it is an MH-60M from the Army, but really, I think it’s more likely the Air Force out of Holloman AFB.


It’s the In Flight Refueling Probe on the side that tells us it is a special operations bird.


Filed under Air Force, planes