Night Landings on a Carrier in Turbulent Seas

You will be tranfixed when viewing these two videos about how the navy trains jet fighter pilots to land on an aircraft carrier that pitches in 30' waves.  This is very unnerving, at night, low on fuel.  Incredible.  God Bless these brave, brave men who will even consider doing this for our country. Turn on your sound and go full screen.  I guarantee this will definitely hold your attention.  
These videos show the difference between Naval Aviation and any other kind.  The links below are two outstanding videos about F-18 carrier
operations aboard the USS Nimitz during weather that causes a severely pitching deck, which you can see in the videos.  It's probably as dangerous as most combat missions, and the tension in the pilots and crew is very apparent.

landing on an aricraft carrier at night

Joe:  You may have seen this before, if you did just delete it, if not just turn up your volume, and enlarge your screen and you will get a good idea of what it is like to land on an Air Craft Carrier at night. Being on a Destroyer for 8 years is quite an adventure, there are usually 2 Destroyers running along both sides, about a 1/2 mile from the Carrier, called the Plane Guard. It was our job, if a plane ditched to pick up the pilot.  If the pilot was alive, we high lined him back to the Carrier.  We would get a reward in ice cream equal to the pilot’s weight. When you are out to sea for 3 to 5 weeks this was a pretty good treat.

During the years I was aboard the USS Benham DD 796 in the 1950’s, we picked up at least 12 to 15 pilots. We would lower the Motor Whale Boat with four of us on board. I was a Gunners Mate and had an M1 rifle.  It was my job to be sure, if there were sharks in the area, to shoot them or scare them off.  I had to be careful not to shoot the pilot.

I’m sorry to say, there were only 2 pilots that ever survived.

We also had to pick up any remains of the bodies  and put them in a rubber body bag. There were many night operations which the crew would be on watch all night. There are many, many, many times. Lots of stories back then.................Ted

Brophy Thursday 03 February 2011 - 09:32 am | | Kearsarge Marines

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