View Full Version : Any naval aviators out there?

05-11-2007, 05:57 AM
I have been playing the Straight from the Farm campaign (by Zeus-Cat) which is available on www.mission4today.com, (http://www.mission4today.com,) for those that doesn't know it yet. First of all I would like to add to many others' praises of this campaign. Well done ZC. Well done.
Down to business, are there any of you guys that have flown naval planes from aircraft carriers in real life? Last night I was just wondering whether it is actually easier in real life (so to speak) than on the pc? I was flying a SBD (if I remember correctly) and my biggest problem was to see properly where the bath tub was that I was supposed to put it down on. I am managing better after playing the above mentioned training campaign. I finish on deck more alive than dead nowadays. However I still struggle to see the CV clearly when in my final approach. I even use the bombsight as it shows the CV bigger and clearer, and then right at the end I switch to normal view. Have any of you got tips for me?
So, if there are real life naval aviators out there, how did you guys experience it vs how we do on pc? I would have been bloody scared of stuffing up a landing like I do now at times. After all you only have one life and the ocean seems to look very wet and far below you. Last night I overshot and ended up right in front of the ship in the sea. Luckily I have more than one life on pc.

05-11-2007, 06:24 AM
I never seem to have difficulty seeing or finding the carrier, although I crash often enough when I try to land on them.

My method is to lose altitude and approach the carrier from about 50 meters from the rear. You can fine tune your altitude and speed with throttle and usually I can make it to the stern of the deck at about the required 10 or 15 meters and cut throttle, etc.

Maybe because I have such a level and flat approach, I always have the carrier in view.

05-11-2007, 08:43 AM
I tried the flatter approach as well but ended up flying into the rear of the ship a few times. BTW do you know how high an aircraft carrier's deck was above sea level in real life in those days? Like you, I was also flying level with the deck a few times and the height was (like you say) about 10 to 20 metres. But 10 metres is about 3 storeys high and I always thought that the carriers were so huge that they should actually be closer to 6 storeys high? Or am I totally wrong?

05-11-2007, 06:05 PM
Well, the carrier doesn't float on top of the water. Displacement and weight and all that means a fair bit is underwater.

The main problem I have with carrier landings is seeing the darn deck. In a fighter I can hitch the seat up, but not so in the SBD, hence I spend all the time peering through the scope. (Except in the later model; Confounded reflector sights!)

You get a sense of appreciation and awe at how these guys did it day after day after day. (And night after night)

05-11-2007, 06:44 PM
~S~ All.
Do Zeus-Cats' "Striaght from the Farm",
be sure!
I no longer fear no take-off or landing on a carrier, whether full-size or escort.
Thanks again, Zeus_Cat!

05-11-2007, 06:52 PM
I've dramatically increased my deck-landing success (95%+) by flying a curving approach to the boat. What I do is this: Starting at an altitude of 1000ft, with hook down, I fly parallel to the carrier offset to the right a little. (I'm thinking to try flying down the port side of the boat) 3-5 seconds after passing the bow of the ship, I begin a turn to the left, slowing to my approach speed and extending flaps and gear, aiming to be configured and on speed (80mph in the SBD) by the time I'm flying downwind (that is, opposite the direction the carrier is going). I continue the turn to the left, descending and maintaining airspeed. When you are on base (90degrees or so to the course of the carrier) the carrier should be directly in front of you -Don't Worry!- it looks strange, but the ship will gradually pull out in front of you as you continue to turn. Then it's just a matter of managing your rate of descent. Works great, you see the boat the whole time, and if things aren't well with the approach, wave offs are easier. I've never hit the back end of the boat approaching this way, though now and then I do hit the island. It takes a little practice, but it's fun and you'd be surprised at how easy it really is. If someone will tell me how to do it, I'll post a track of my first try: multiple passes using the SBD. Oh, I use the not-leaning-to-look-through-the-gunsight view.

05-11-2007, 06:56 PM
Pick a tall point on the carrier (the island, for example), then a point on your cockpit, and measure you position from there. Come in as slow as you can, but NEVER with zero power. Keep a little bit of power on at all times in case of emergency. When you touch down, try to do it with all three wheels - if not, pull up as hard as you can and drag the tail on the deck. This is rough but it can usually catch the wire for you.

05-11-2007, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by Dogfighter1969:
I tried the flatter approach as well but ended up flying into the rear of the ship a few times.

Like everything else, it takes a little practice to get right. A useful tip with landing is that throttle controls altitude at low speeds. So gunning the throttle for a couple of seconds can raise you 10 or 20 meters and cutting back a little can lose you the same amount. Gunning the throttle also helps you raise your nose if you have attitude adjustment issues.

When I'm going in for final landing, I usually have all flaps down (at about 210 kmh) and I'm playing with my throttle all the time as I come in. As soon as my tail is over the stern of the ship, I cut right away to lose that extra few meters of height and touch down.

05-12-2007, 07:52 AM
Maybe a visual will help those that are having a little difficulty with carrier ops. This NTRK is a training aid I made a couple of years back. It depicts a Wave off, Bolter, Low trajectory Wave off, and finally, the trap. It utilizes the port quarter angled approach. What I always preached to my wingmates was/is "don't force the landing". In other words, know when to abandon the the landing and live to come back around. Hope this helps some.

The NTRK file goes in your records folder.



05-13-2007, 12:02 AM
Having flown quite a few field carrier landing practices (FCLP) and carrier landings in props (SNJ & AD) I can tell you how it worked in RL.

On the downwind leg, you went over your landing check list and, at the "180 degree position", which is abeam your touch down point, you called, "gear, flaps, & shoulder straps" to the Landing Signal Officer (LSO "paddles"). Then you started a 25-30 degree banked left turn at 65' altitude and airspeed 5 kts over stall speed. Adding power for the turn kept you at a constant altitude and speed through the 135 and 90 positions. At about 45 degrees from the runway heading, you'd pick up "paddles" and follow his signals to bring you in to satisfactory landing, basically a controlled crash http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Flying "low and slow" was pretty hairy and left little margin for error but what a rush!

You could see the LSO and his paddles signaling OK (keep doing what you're doing), increase or less bank, more/less power, too low/high, waive off. The LSO was on a little platform level with the deck/field and you could see your landing point well. The preferred wire was #3, though any wire salvaged the landing, but maybe not the a/c. Missing a wire and going into the crash barrier, esp. with other a/c on the other side of it was, ahem, frowned upon. Crashing into a load of parked a/c was very bad for your health and career.

If you needed to go around again, you really had to be careful with the power. You're low, slow, and out of whack. You want as much as possible to stop your sink rate but MANY a pilot has died from a low altitude "torque roll", after shoving the throttle up too fast.

Back to landing. Ideally, you roll out of your turn exactly on the field/ship heading just a second or two before the "fantail". The LSO would give you the cut signal, you'd chop the power, push the stick forward, then back in order to drop, then flare so as to hit the deck in a 3-point landing attitude, at stall speed, and grab a wire; all at the same time. Every landing was graded OK, (OK), Poor, WO (waive off) and FNKUA (F-ing near killed us all!).

You can try this procedure in the sim too. Probably need to give yourself a little more straight away in case you under/overshoot the turn. The airspeed is a little more forgiving, but I've broken a landing gear or two (in the sim http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blush.gif - not in RL).

When I transitioned to jets, the approaches were wider, higher, with a longer straight away. In some ways, it was a lot easier, esp with angled decks. OTOH, it was very much faster. We still had an LSO but now had the fresnel lens mirror and ball system to help both of us. He'd advise you on the radio because he could see your drift from the glide slope, if any, before you could.

Well, hope you found an old fart's (long) "sea story" interesting and helpful. Keep flying and "stay on the ball".

Semper Fi, OneMug

05-13-2007, 01:54 AM
We (the K-9 Squadrons) have been lucky enough and truly honored to be sharing our virtual skies with a WWII naval aviator that started his service in 1942 at Guadalcanal. Not sure if he even frequents any forums, but I will tell him about your question and this thread. Maybe he will take the time to answer. I do not know.

05-14-2007, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by OneMug:
Having flown quite a few field carrier landing practices (FCLP) and carrier landings in props (SNJ & AD) I can tell you how it worked in RL.

Well, hope you found an old fart's (long) "sea story" interesting and helpful. Keep flying and "stay on the ball".

Semper Fi, OneMug

Thanks for your post OneMug. Very interesting stuff to me. Will definitely try to do it same way in the game as what you have described above. Pardon my ignorance, but what does (SNJ & AD) stand for?
And don't worry, I like long 'sea stories' from people that's been there. Personally, I was in the infantry. My country doesn't have an aircraft carrier. Our navy is pretty small and consist mostly out of small attack craft with some mean weapon systems to counter for a lack of size. Our airforce only recently got new planes from overseas to replace the old stuff that they used to have.
I have a big interest in naval and air forces, especially when it is about WWII.
BTW what types of aircraft have you flown at the time of the above operations?

05-14-2007, 09:20 AM
Originally posted by -HH-Quazi:
Not sure if he even frequents any forums, but I will tell him about your question and this thread. Maybe he will take the time to answer. I do not know.

Thanks. Will be great if he could.

05-14-2007, 10:23 AM
If you want to perform authentic carrier landings then you should talk to BSS_Vidar. He was in the Navy aboard a S3 Viking and is now a civilian commercial pilot. He's taught us Case I and Case III recovery operations that we practice on a regular basis and use at all times, on and offline. We keep a greenieboard just like onboard a carrier and have quarterly qualifications on our CQ server. You can also get the info you're looking for on our site if you just want to read. www.bss214.com (http://www.bss214.com) Or join us on comms. We're on almost everynight around 10-11pm EDT

05-15-2007, 05:47 AM
Thanks Sniper. I will check out the website. Can't hang out with you guys at 10-11 EDT. I am on the other side of the world. That would be around 05:00 for me if my calcs are correct. By that time I am fast asleep http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sleepzzz.gif