Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

F-111 Belly Landing

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The dreaded barber pole.  In my airplane, during the landing checklist that you perform every time the landing gear go to the down position, you visually check the three landing gear indicators on the instrument panel.  If you're looking at a couple of tilted stripes (like what you see on a barber pole), then your wheels aren't 100% down and locked.  This means that your landing gear could be only partially down, not down at all or a number of other problems.  Trouble.  

That's when you break out your handy dandy pocket checklist (PCL) and thumb to the proper emergency procedure.  Once you get to the correct section in the PCL, you start executing the steps in order like it's a recipe in a Betty Crocker cookbook.  Easy, peezy, Japaneezy.  Well, not quite.  Especially when you've gotta get back aboard the aircraft carrier that's getting tossed around the ocean like it's a little rubber ducky in a bathtub full of rowdy kids.  Did I mention you gotta do this at night?  Speaking of recipes, here's one for you.  What do you get when you take a complicated emergency at night, sprinkle in a rookie pilot, sauté it with a jet that's running on fumes and add a dash of pitching deck?  You get a highly puckered sphincter capable of  crocheting some nice doilies into your ejection seat.  That's what.

This was an outstanding job dealing with this emergency by this F-111 crew.  But I am reminded of the main differences between carrier aviation and those landlubbers that have the good fortune of landing on a nice long runway.  Us tailhookers drop our hooks every time and perform a controlled crash aboard that postage stamp of a landing strip - while it's moving.  And you know what?  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Go Navy!


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