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Published on Oct 19, 2006
One of the most demanding tasks in all of aviation -- a night instrument approach and landing aboard a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The USS Carl Vinson, thousands of miles out to sea; no where else to go. Landing on an aircraft carrier is a challenge, but a generator failure made the pass and this vid a little more interesting (hardly by design).
Comm was wired directly from my oxygen mask whilst flying the approach and landing aboard the USS Carl Vinson on the Indian Ocean. The dimly lit ship is barely a speck in the night at about three miles (time 1:22). Warning tones are (1) radar altimeter (set to 1200' and 375') and (2) a rapid warning tone from the radar altimeter due to a generator failure. LSO calls for "Wing lights," which were lost due to the electrical malfunction (unknown to LSO). Expeditious emergency procedures for an electrical failure to regain lost electrical buses were completed while performing demanding tasks involved in landing a jet aboard the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier at night.
"Where do we get such men? They leave this ship and they do their job. Then they must find this speck lost somewhere on the sea. When they find it, they have to land on its pitching deck. Where do we get such men?" - Rear Admiral George Tarrant 1954; in James Michener's "The Bridges at Toko-Ri"