Friday, April 25, 2008

An Excellent Grasp Of The Obvious.

Landing an AV8B Harrier on a US Navy ship takes over four years of specialized training:

KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Landing an AV-8B Harrier on the cramped deck of a Navy ship that is pitching and rolling on the ocean takes practice.

A lot of it.

According to Capt. Scott Buerstatte, a pilot who participated in the training, it’s easy to tell if a landing has gone wrong.

When a pilot is landing a Harrier vertically, he shouldn’t see the landing area.

“If you can see it, then you’ve missed it on landing,” Buerstatte explained.

Because of the constant up-and-down motion of a ship, pilots are trained to look at the horizon to ensure their decent is level to the ship, he said.

As for the training at Kadena, Buerstatte said it’s better to miss the practice pad on the flight line and still land on concrete than it would be to miss on the ship and land in the ocean.

See? He has his head screwed on straight.

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