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Kira

F/A-18 and carrier ops

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Carrier landings in DCS don't seem to be that difficult, at least with the current F/A-18C Lot 20.  Granted, it took three passes, and I got a 1 wire, but I did get my first carrier landing last night.  Now to figure out how to disengage the hook from the wire so that I can taxi for the catapult!  Notably, no crash-and-burns were involved, just missed approaches.  That's one of the nice things about the Hornet's computers.  They do much of the work of keeping the thing stable, and thus make it a (relatively) easy aircraft in the actual flying department, which is good, considering the study done during Vietnam that found Navy pilots most anxious not in combat, as would be expected, but around the boat, contemplating, and during, carrier landings. 

The main critical factor, as with most landings, seems to be angle of attack and velocity vector placement.  Another other critical factor (that I ignored, hence the 1 wire) is to maintain one's approach angle and just fly the thing right "through" the deck, despite the increasing feeling that you're going to overshoot the wires.  Instead, I did a major Navy sin, the one called "diving for the deck", or as it's been called, "the famous 'We land NOW, Goddamnit!' one wire".  Good thing there's no sightless, wining, LSO yet to give me a No Grade for that pass.

Quite interesting and rather fun.  Well.  During the day, anyway.  Night and/or bad weather?  That's a totally different ball game!

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