Point-Of-View Carrier Landing

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Point-Of-View Carrier Landing

This is a pretty cool video of an inside the cockpit point-of-view of a Viking aircraft making a carrier landing .

By IAF: posted on 7-11-2007

Wow, thats neat, it closes so fast on the carrier at the end.

Good find.

I wonder if they can't automate the landings somewhat. Surely computers sending information from the ship as to pitch, and wind direction etc, would help the planes land easier.
By netchicken: posted on 7-11-2007

The aircraft already have stability augmentation systems that help the pilots out quite a bit. Life is easier than it was for their forerunners. Still, I would NEVER trust a machine to do what those guys can do. Chips go bad, programs glitch at the worst possible time and instruments get out of cal, but those boys are bad to the bone 100% of the time.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 7-11-2007

An aircraft landing on a carrier deck has two basic systems that help it land. First is the "meatball". A big red ball on the side of the carrier deck that informs the pilot of his relative elevation and drift from the standard descent slope required. This is also reinforced by a guy on the deck feeding the pilot instructions as to his descent (LSO- Landing Signal Officer). This procedure is also known as "flying the ball".

The second system is what is known as an ILS or Instrument Landing system, which is much more precise and accurate system that helps pilots put down without the need for external visual clues. Now this system is also used in conjunction with the first if possible. The ILF has basically two bars, one vertical and one horizontal which tell the pilot if his aircraft is approaching the deck at the proper slope and speed. The pilot aims to keep both the bars intersecting each other exactly in the middle so as to maintain the perfect slope.

Another consideration that is of critical importance is the speed of descent which carrier pilots usually remember or learn through experience. But the guy on the deck will also tell the pilot if he is coming in too fast or too slow. Too fast and the probability of overshooting the cables exists and too slow they aircraft could miss the end of the deck and plunge into the sea. The speed of descent for the aircraft has to be greater than normal in case the pilot misses the cables (also generally known as "wires") so that the pilot has adequate speed to take off again and attempt a second landing.

Generally pilots use only the first system in old planes like the Viking. The Hornets use both systems together.

Here's another more dramatic video of a F-4J Phantom II landing on a carrier. (Look to the left of the landing deck on the edge and you will see a black board with a bright light, that is the meat ball. )
By IAF: posted on 8-11-2007

That second one was neat as well.

Commercial planes have a totally automated system now that brings them down safely. I would have thought that the much more hazardous landings on the carrier would have been done the same way.

Still as TC said trusting the skills of the pilots are better than trusting a chip.

point-of-view-carrier-landing.jpg - 4.9kb
By netchicken: posted on 15-12-2007

"ILS" is nothing more than instruments. It is nothing extra for carrier-landing aircraft. It is similar to VOR, but for when an aircraft is close to the airfield. it helps bring the aircraft into the "cone" for landing by providing distinctive tones so the pilot will know if he is too high or low, or too far left or right for a good landing. It does NOT replace visual flight at all, it helps get the plane into a proper position for a proper run at landing.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 15-12-2007

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