They’re called Nuggets until they hit the boat and qualify… Interesting little video from four perspectives, two Navy, two Marine on their first trip to the boat.  They used to do this in TA-4s, I think from what I’ve heard the T-45 is a LOT easier to fly, but it’s still a VERY significant event in any Naval Aviator’s life!



Nuggets… — 13 Comments

  1. Yet it seems such an easy task … from the sidelines, watching, until you start to think about it. Then it seems scary!

  2. At least they get to qualify on calm waters. But just curious. When did everyone start calling the carrier a boat? My Navy, a boat (except of subs which have always been called a boat) was on a ship. The carries were ships.

  3. The first trap is no small thing. And to catch the 3 wire on the first pass is magical. Then the first shot — what a great life for a young man – and I guess for women now too.

  4. Rev- Scary when you’re riding in the back too! 🙂

    CP- Carriers like subs have always been called boats, no idea why!

    Erin- That is what is called ‘Mild Det Cord’ or MDC, it’s designed to fracture the canopy so the pilot can eject through it.

    LL- Yep!

    WSF- It used to be six for Nuggets, I don’t know what it is today.

  5. Hmmmm….Where to get arrestor hooks for Cessna 172s? There has to be an STC for that.

  6. Murph- You could just do a run on landing… You’ve got 485 feet to stop 🙂 And a tailhook on a Cessna would work ONCE, then you’d be gluing the ass end of the bird back on…LOL

  7. The det cord on the canopies created a serious problem with the F-35 when they were first looking at integration, because the need for spare canopies (the canopies have replacement intervals based on UV damage; F-35 stealthier canopies are apparantly more susceptible to UV damage) meant they had a lot more spare canopies and were going to be replacing them more frequently. . . unfortunately, that meant they had a LOT more pre-loaded electrically initiated explosives hanging around. (Can’t have that stuff lying around anywhere it could potentially catch a stray RF signal and decide to get all exothermically verklempt in say, the hanger deck. . . ) Once INSTALLED, the canopies are what we call “HERO safe”, which means they won’t go off from stray RF signals, but racked up ready for installation? Eh, not so much. . .

    Last I checked, they managed to solve that issue with a variety of mitigations.

  8. We (enlisted airedales) would call it the boat because the ship’s company guys hated us doing that.

    …and enlisted airedales would never call each other “shipmate.” To do so was the mark of a newb or a motard.

  9. In the 70’s we kept the original AV-8 Harrier canopies in our magazine in Iwakuni.
    Story was that on ejection,the cord would break the canopy but you were still likely to break a leg or two on other stuff on the way out.

  10. Pingback: At the Boat | Bring the heat, Bring the Stupid

  11. BE- LOL, Yep!

    Hymie- Yep, most folks I knew that ejected broke ‘something’ canopy or no canopy… The reason for MDC was the problems with A-4 and F-4 Canopies that refused to blow and guys hitting solid plastic on the way out.