Carrier SOPs

Re: Carrier SOPs

Postby Flyco » 27 Nov 2018, 18:15

Neil, just gone through the USN T-45 (Goshawk) SOPS, and picked up the following.

The break must be done before 4nm past the Carrier, or you must maintain heading and 800ft, then at 5 nm climb to 1200ft, execute a LH arc to return to Initials for a re-join, advising Tower of intentions.

The break at 800ft must be flown level until downwind, when you should descend to 600ft.

After Touch and go’s or Bolters, turn onto BRC, climb to 600ft, turn downwind - fitting in with any traffic breaking or downwind - and then continuing with a normal circuit.

I suggest we accept these for our SOPs.
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Re: Carrier SOPs

Postby Neil Willis » 27 Nov 2018, 19:12

My thinking was - as you'd mentioned in a post in another thread when asked about RN/RAF/USN that we were making the SOPs applicable to all aircraft in general and not specifically for the F/A-18C. I think that would be a better approach with carrier operations as we will soon have access to 3 different carrier aircraft. The differences in speeds will be relevant as clearly Skyhawk and Tomcat will have vastly different characteristics, but will still use max-endurance as the baseline speed in a holding pattern. The differences between their AUW will be negligible, and we can assume there will be a target airspeed to give around the correct performance. The other aircraft most likely won't be 250 knots. but it will still be max-endurance, and they wouldn't be in the same altitude segment of the stack, so differing speeds wouldn't be an issue as far as safety is concerned.

The descent in the turn is necessary for any aircraft that breaks at 0.5 nm ahead of the boat. It would be virtually impossible to slow, get on-speed AOA, and arrive at 600 ft AMSL within 0.5 nm after rolling out from the break. It might be a slight bending of the rules, but it does work, and as you said yourself, it is easier to complete the break whilst descending. Why not make it our practice to do so if it simplifies the break?

The whole c/s versus side number thing is simple enough to break down. The LSO sees the outside of each aircraft and has a visual reference on the side of them all. They use side numbers in the trap segment of the flight. The addition of the pilot callsign in carrier qualification is just a detail, and using tactical call signs for the rest of the flight is routine. We're not exactly going to worry however if people get it wrong.

The maximum distance ahead is generally determined by elapsed time rather than a specific DME range. On the break, the first aircraft in the flight will - when proficient - break at 0.5 nm, with subsequent breaks at I believe 25-second intervals? I'm not sure of the exact timing there. Lone aircraft should turn when they're confident they can complete the break turn, get gear and flaps down, and descend to 600 ft on arrival at the 90. I suggest we accept inexperienced pilots can go as far ahead as 4 miles without any problem. I seem to recall reading 4 miles was given as the maximum but again, the details escape me.

Everything I have mentioned is just me thinking aloud. I am. as always, happy to go with the consensus. Whatever is decided, I am sure we'll have something good to work with.
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Re: Carrier SOPs

Postby Flyco » 13 Jun 2019, 17:16

Having just been watching F-18 launches on BBC news, I was quite surprised at the very early step-out immediately they were off the catapult. I was aware that the SOP was to turn 10 degrees away from the carrier centre-line for a couple of seconds before resuming the carrier bearing. However, as I say, I was surprised by the very early application of 10-20 degrees of bank, within a second of getting airborne.

I shall have to practice that - it looks quite sporting. Ade to note for his OCU students.
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Re: Carrier SOPs

Postby Neil Willis » 14 Jun 2019, 07:31

I was thinking the same thing. Hopefully, we will get the new carrier facilities soon, in which case we can really get to grips with the new ATC calls and complete carrier ops more thoroughly.
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Re: Carrier SOPs

Postby Roon » 15 Jun 2019, 18:10

Noted!!
Sometimes stuff is supposed to fall off....sometimes not.
I still can't be sure which... :?

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