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Emergancy landing on a carrier?

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After playing one of the FSX missions, it got me thinking, what would really happen if you were in a light aircraft with an engine failure in the vicinity of an aircraft carrier?As far as I know this has never happened in real life, but its possible.Would you ditch or try to land on the carrier, and what ... if any real life procedures are in place for such an unlikely event?This is assuming you had declared an emergency before attempting the carrier landing.

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I'm sure you would be out of range with the TFR that is imposed around the carrier.

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But stranger than strange things continue to happen that sometimes make our rules obsolete :)I'll rephrase, this is a hypothetical question.I guess as far as an official military response, then who knows? but in a moral (hypothetical) situation, would you ditch, risking life and limb, or attempt to land on the carrier if you considered it safe? especially if the sea was rough.Would they go so far as to shoot you down if they knew it was an emergency?Discuss.

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Hypothetically speaking...IF you were somehow close enough to a carrier to land on it, in say, a C172, then I would think that yes, it would be possible to land it on the deck.I am not sure what KIND of landing you would have, as most GA aircraft do not have strengthened landing gear for carrier ops. I am not sure what effect the arrestor gear could have on the gear.And sure, if we are talking US Navy carrier, they could shoot you down, either with a 20mm Phalanx CIWS, or with a Sparrow missile, or with a CAP (combat air patrol) plane. The carrier would certainly know about you long before you knew about them. Even if you were right on the deck seemingly below radar. Their radar is being constantly improved...RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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This is from memory - EDIT Found itOn April 30, 1975, the fall of Saigon appeared imminent. A Vietnamese Air Force major, together with his wife and five children, boarded an O-lA on the island of Con Son (off the coast of South Vietnam) and flew to the carrier USS Midway. With his fuel tanks almost empty he made an excellent carrier landing and became the first 0-lA to land on a carrier deck. http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/aero/aircraft/cessna_o1.htmThe key point about landing on a carrier is that the pilot in the aircraft cannot judge the landing point.Carrier landings require external reference to put the pilot on track. This was something the Navy (US and British) learned very early in the 1920's and 30's when they started to experiment with shipboard landings.Even with todays great systems, the "feel" of the LSO is a critical component.Flight Simulator fails to simulate a couple of major effects of carrier landings. The ship speed is an issue, the impact of the wind bubble on the stern when the landing aircraft goes into ground effect with a solid thump which can be felt in the aircraft, and of course the vertical movement of the ship.I've been in the back of C-1 and C-2 aircraft landing on carriers when the stern of the ship had +35 and -35 feet vertical movement during approach.Any carrier pilot who makes 100% of his first attempt landings is judges to be too reckless. A "perfect" record is 75% landing - 25% go around.The experience of the number of trained qualified pilots lost each year has firmly convinced the navies of the world that the odds of survival of a ditching and recovery are about an order magnitude greater than a non-trained pilot and a non-carrier aircraft surviving the impact.Impact is another important word. The normal carrier "greaser" landing will tear the gear off most civilian aircraft - most GA aircraft fuselages will fracture on such an impact - routinely above 3 G and 700-1200 FPM impacts.EDIT - The landing at the top was under absolutely perfect weather conditions and even then, the ship CO was extremely reluctant to allow the pilot to make the attempt. It was to my knowledge the only landing on a ship of the couple hundred similar flights. In almost all the other cases, the aircraft passengers were successfully recovered after ditching.Despite what the articles says above - I've seen the film - he did not make a very good carrier landing - he was high, long and #### lost the aircraft over the side trying to stop.

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Would you ditch or try to land on the carrier, and what ... if any real life procedures are in place for such an unlikely event?Reading back over your post - the carrier is going to want you to ditch near one of the small escort ships - frigates or destroyers.They can have a motor whale boat alongside the aircraft in a few moments and a half dozen helicopters with trained divers in the water next to the aircraft before the splash stops.There have been cases of carriers providing "wing shields" to smooth the rough water for a ditching on their downwind side.In fact the US Navy would not allow a qualified carrier pilot and aircraft to attempt a dead stick landing - they would be ordered to ditch.A carrier landing attempt requires full takeoff power be available.Rough weather would greatly increase the chances of a fatal crash on the bobbing carrier.If you didn't have the skill and ability to make a successful ditching - you certainly would not have the skill to make a carrier landing.

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Okay, since we're having fun here...You're flying a fibreglass Katana, with no transponder. I'm sure the Navy radars are the best, but if they could could pick up a very small fibreglass aircraft like a Katana using primary radar... I don't know.Carrier is sailing at full steam into the wind... you judge it perfectly and perform a near hover landing on the carrier deck (The relative speed difference between you and the carrier is very small.)Then, for the final touch, you jump out of the plane and tell the ship's Captain that he can be your wingman any day....Why not :-)Bryan

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Could it be done - yes - the right aircraft, with the right pilot, with the right weather - probably a 20-25% chance of success on the first try.There have been at least 21 full stop landings on US aircraft carriers by C-130 aircraft. The aircraft stopping distance was 267 feet, and the takeoff run was a little less than 750 feet.Would it be allowed to happen - no.No aircraft carrier CO, or the Air Group Commander (CAG) is going to allow an unknown aircraft near the deck.Just for that they would probably be court martialed for "hazarding the ship" which is prehaps the most serious charge which can be made against a ship's CO.Unless my memory is completely wrong - a possibility - the CO of the Midway was issued a "punitive letter of reprimand" for allowing the Cessna to attempt a landing in 1975.And yes the Navy radar would pick up the Katana on radar. Lookouts and the CIWS danged well better pick it up.Also remember that very seldom is the deck completely clear. Odds are very high there are going to be 20-40 aircraft tied down on the deck - many fueled.Look up why the USS Forrestal (CVA-59) was called the "Forest Fire" by sailors.

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I agree, no light aircraft would be allowed to land on a carrier, even in an emergency, it could well be a terrorist attack with bomb onboard to be detonated on landing, you cant take chances with something as expensive and important as a carrier and crew.I've seen video of the C-130 landing and take off, quite spectacular :)As a side note, eventually landed the aircraft on the carrier in FSX and received my suitable reprimand reward :)

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Wow, I didn't know that C-130's have landed on CV's before.Were these C-130 carrier ops COD flights (Carrier On-Board Delivery) or were they just a special occurrence?RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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As far as I know, the C-130 carrier landing trials were to evaluate the aircraft on supplying the carrier's, not sure why they never went ahead, probably as this short You Tube video suggests, too risky.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5kQeIQlSLQQuite amazing though, would love to have seen this for real.

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Phalanx will pick up a katana, it even picks up returning rotor blade tips of departing helos. Not only were C-130's tried bt if you look hard enough you will find there was a special U-2 that was outfitted an succesful launches and recoveries were made.

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>what would really happen if you were in a light aircraft with>an engine failure in the vicinity of an aircraft carrier?>>As far as I know this has never happened in real life, but its>possible.>>Would you ditch or try to land on the carrier, and what ... if>any real life procedures are in place for such an unlikely>event?>>This is assuming you had declared an emergency before>attempting the carrier landing.The first question is why are you out that far out of gliding distance from land in a light single in the first place? (Well - you can be flying between Los Angeles and Catalina Island and there's a carrier out in SOCAL that you happen to be flying near.)The carrier won't be aware of any emergency you declare (even if you declare one) - you aren't talking to it. Hopefully you are talking to LA Center or SoCal Approach - You can try on 121.5, the carrier should be monitoring 121.5 but it's not its first priority. You'll have better luck declaring your emergency to LA Center or SoCal who will probably turn it over to the Coast Guard who will respond. If the Coast Guard can't get to you in time, the Coast Guard will probably turn it over to the Navy ("Beaver" on San Clemente) who will find the closest Navy ship with the ability to provide Search and Rescue services which will usually be an aircraft carrier or any helicopter equipped ship. So that is the real-life procedure in place in Southern California. Similar procedures are in place in the Pacific Northwest, Jacksonville, etc.Now landing on the carrier - it's probably doable - but they're most likely not going to let you do it. The Navy would rather you ditch it, and we'll send a helicopter your way or if a helicopter is not available, send an R&A team via motor launch to pick you up.Will we shoot you down? Well CIWS won't do it - your light single doesn't fly fast enough to trigger the CIWS engagement "logics" to get it to engage you - even if we modified the engagement speed paramenters to the lowest threshold. Well those new model CIWS's that are starting to show up have joystick controls that allow a person to aim and fire - but it's designed to engage surface targets. A moving airplane is actually hard to hit when you're manually controlling the gun.Will the carrier's or cruiser's/destroyer's radar pick you up without a transponder, absolutely - we'll know you're there, and you'll get evaluated and filed away in the evaluated tracks folder - like all the other radar contacts in the sky. Though you will probably be an interesting one that holds our interest a little bit longer that most tracks because of the fact that you don't have a transponder. If you're just squawking 1200, you'll get lost in the shuffle in the evaluated tracks folder.

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>>Now landing on the carrier - it's probably doable - but>they're most likely not going to let you do it. I don't understand this, "won't LET you do it". I mean, it seems to me, if I am sputtering along in my Cessna 182, if I decide to land on a CV, I am going to land on it. The only way to not "let" someone do it, would be to shoot them down.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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>>>>>Now landing on the carrier - it's probably doable - but>>they're most likely not going to let you do it. >>I don't understand this, "won't LET you do it". I mean, it>seems to me, if I am sputtering along in my Cessna 182, if I>decide to land on a CV, I am going to land on it. The only>way to not "let" someone do it, would be to shoot them down.>>Rhett>>AMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS>A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD>250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian caseI hope your will is in order ;) If not I would start looking in the phone book under "attorneys"No, the US navy does not have to put their assets, nor PEOPLE (us Sailors) at risk for some idiot flying along in a single engne aircraft far from shore. Plus if you did ask them for permission, they'd tell you to ditch and they'll come get you. Your benefit... you'll get a personalized tour of the medical ward and service on a US naval vessel by your own personal armed US Marine (who will hurt you if you decide to carry out any other stupid decisions that are not approved by the Navy)So your not gonna listen to them when they tell you to go away? Ask a P-3 pilot what it feels like to get thumped by a F/A-18. It's like flying through a 500 mph wind shear. I'm sure something might happen when they decide to park an SH-60F SeaHawk over a cessna. Ha and you thought your sputtering engine was your biggest worry... Maybe you better start worring about stress fracture tolerances for the wingspars on your cessna 182.Look hope I didn't insult you or hurt your feelings, I am a sailor and we're known for being straight to the point without being politically correct.Have a nice flight!

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What makes you think the deck would be clear enough to land?Have you even seen how many aircraft are parked on the back of the ship when they are not doing flight ops?Remember in the best case you are going to have to put that aircraft down and stop in less than 500 feet to be successful. On a deck which is about as slippery as wet grass for a set of small aircraft tires.More than likely the ship will be steaming with a stiff crosswind.Making an emergency landing on a carrier is a nice thought - butit would not save your aircraft from damage if successful,it would be a major risk of danger/ damage to the aircraft on the carrier deck, the men and women on the carrier, even to the survival of the carrier itself,it is a major risk of losing your life in a landing much more hazardous than ditching.The positive side of ditching - you get a soft landing rather than a hard crash,you as the pilot get to control when and where you touchdown,you will have several people in the water with you - experienced and trained at getting people out of downed aircraft and safely out of the water.Attempting to landing on a carrier is literally a choice between a 99% survival option - ditching; and a 10% survival option - the carrier.

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The aircraft in this picture has a wingspan of a little over 77 feet - and you can see the parked aircraft are only about 15-20 feet from where the Whale flies.http://www.a3skywarrior.com/donatedpics/wp1.jpghttp://www.a3skywarrior.com/pg12photos/fanpark.jpgHere are some more looks at carrier landings. One is catching the wire - note the aircraft on the other side of the landing area.http://www.a3skywarrior.com/donatedpics/km2.jpghttp://www.a3skywarrior.com/donatedpics/indy-'62.jpghttp://www.a3skywarrior.com/donatedpics/ea-3bla1.jpgYour Cessna will have a wingspan of 36 feet - which means that you can only be off the center-line about 25 feet. This would be a more typical configuration of a carrier deckhttp://www.a3skywarrior.com/pg8photos/Forrestal7-8-61.jpgBelieve it or not - this is a good takeoffhttp://www.a3skywarrior.com/pg10photos/dave1.jpgThis is the "best" possibility - I got to sit in this seat once for a night landing on the FDR.http://www.a3skywarrior.com/pg13photos/a3no5.jpg

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EA-3B BUNO 142257 R-11CREWNAMES: SURVIVED: (7) LT Dave Longeway (Pilot), LT. John Jones (Nav), LT Bill Lombardi (Eval), ADJ Ken Wallis (P/C), AMS2 Bob Delgiudice, (P/C), AQ3 Francis (EWOP) CTI1 Darrell Hawkins.On 03/08/1974 EA-3B was inbound to the USS AMERICA CV-66 in the west med. Aircraft made the landing and caught the #1 wire 5 feet right of the centerline. After 50 inches of cable run travel, the purchase cable failed approx 1 inch into the stbd socket. Socket assy separated from the cap upon reaching the tail hook point. Aircraft continued up the angle at max power unable to regain altitude and settled down in the water. All crewmembers escaped and the EA-3B floated for 5 minutes.----------------------------------------------------------------EA-3B BUNO 144850 R-12CREWNAMES: KILLED: (7) LT Alan A. Levine, Pilot. LCDR. Ronald R. Callander, Nav. LT Stephen H. Batchelder, Eval. LT James D. Richards, Eval. AT2 Richard A. Herzing, ESM OP. Note: Took flight from AT2 Rob Crair in order to get his 100 traps in the EA-3B. CTI3 Craig R. Rudolf, Intel. CTI3 Patrick R. Price, Intel.On 01/25/1987 EA-3B was attempting to land on the USS Nimitz CVN-68 at night during blue water operations off of Lebanon. Aircraft attempted to catch the arresting gear wire 5 times to no avail. During one of the bolters the EA-3B drop out of view below the flight deck almost impacting the water. After regaining altitude the aircraft was running low on fuel with less than 800lbs left, the aircraft then meet up with the A-7 tanker which would not work because the buddy store was spewing fuel every where (No Joy). Due to the low fuel state the EA-3B was unable to make it to a shore base and it was decided to launch the KA-6B tanker. It was then determined that the A-6 couldn't be launched due to it was blocked in on the bow by other aircraft from the last recovery. After a discussion between the aircraft, CAG and VQ-2 CO, It was ruled out for the crew to bail out or ditch into the cold Mediterranean water. The barricade was rigged, then it was discovered that a big wrench used to tighten up the barricade was missing, so the barricade was sagging 8 foot. The EA-3B made a really nice approach to the carrier descending toward the barricade at a high angle, once near the barricade the LSO told the pilot to "Cut, Cut" meaning kill the engines, the pilot failed to do so flying into the barricade really high hitting the nose landing gear on the sagging barricade ripping it back and slamming the A-3 into the deck then skidding down the flight deck and off the angle into the sea. The rescue Helo hovered above the A-3 not noting any movement inside; the helo SAR swimmers did not enter the A-3. After 13 minutes of floating the EA-3B sank with its 7 men crew to the bottom of the sea. Photos of both are on this web page - http://www.portlyautey.com/ECM-2.htm

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>What makes you think the deck would be clear enough to land?>Well nothing makes me think that Reggie. All I meant to ask was, *assuming the deck was clear*, what's to stop a pilot from landing on a CV, short of shooting them down? RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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>>Look hope I didn't insult you or hurt your feelings, I am a>sailor and we're known for being straight to the point without>being politically correct.>haha, no I'm too old for that now. But really, my question stands, how can they not "let" someone land on a CV, other than shoot them down? Assuming, of course, that the deck is actually clear to where the a/c could get down. Sure the landing gear on the a/c would be toast. Sure the guy landing would get arrested, charged, etc. etc.But that's not my question. So what's to stop someone?RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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Nice shots. Those look like Skywarriors. That's a pretty good sized carrier plane. Another biggie was the A5A Vigilante. You ever see any of those set down?RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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I think I've made about 60 landings on carriers.About 15 in an EA-3B Skywarrior, four in an RA-3B - three of those in the seat back to back with the pilot - one in the Nav seat.The others were in C-1 and C-2 aircraft.(I'm not counting about 200 helicopter landings/ horse collar drops on ships from carrier to FF-1052 class)I do NOT like carrier landings - and am firmly convinced that the people who do so for a living are terminally insane.It is just too different than a regular field landing, and too violent when successful.I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my chances for survival would be much higher with a ditching.Yes, it is fun to speculate and pretend what if - but it would almost never happenAnd after the USS Cole - they will shoot you down.

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>I think I've made about 60 landings on carriers.>>About 15 in an EA-3B Skywarrior, four in an RA-3B - three of>those in the seat back to back with the pilot - one in the Nav>seat.>That must be something, sitting back facing the front, not able to see out during the landing.>The others were in C-1 and C-2 aircraft.>>(I'm not counting about 200 helicopter landings/ horse collar>drops on ships from carrier to FF-1052 class)>Isn't the FF1052 a Knox class FF? I liked the looks of those ships. I have a wallpaper of one of them crashing through spray. It's even neater looking because it's a black-and-white pic.>>And after the USS Cole - they will shoot you down.Ah, yes the USS Cole. I bet the Navy doesn't take any chances now. One time, I talked to a CO on a Minehunter, one of that new class. He talked about how much he liked the ship. So I asked him, "If you could have any improvement on the ship, what would it be?" And he replied, "I'd like more guns.".As in small caliber guns, like 7.62 or 12.7 MG's. I guess for USS Cole-type attacks, that's a good defense.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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Isn't the FF1052 a Knox class FF? I liked the looks of those ships. Yes the USS Knox is/was FF-1052. I've been dropped to her deck more than once - and I've been on her and her three sisters in the North Pacific in winter when green water was coming over the bow of the USS Midway. I though I deserved submarine pay for that week on the USS Lockwood (FF-1064).Wikipedia has a nice photo of the four stationed in Yokosuka with the USS Towers back in the 80's. Look for "Knox class frigate"

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