HMS Ark Royal II aircraft carrier will look very familiar to most
and awe inspiring!
in blazing color.
Fourteen: Carrier Landings
By 3NG's Wyatt and Wade
|First, let me inform you that our goal is not to
instruct you where exactly to set your speed, flaps, altitude,
etc. Each pilot flies his aircraft differently. Some
like to take a long, slow approach and some like the quick and
fast method. If you're not having much success with the
quick/fast method, we do suggest you try the long/slow method.
All we can do is share our experience and some guidelines to
follow. Every night, you should practice carrier-based and
land-based takeoffs and landings. Also, when practicing, we
suggest you make your difficulty settings at least 85 percent.
Landing on a carrier can be a tricky proposition. It
requires patience, practice, and concentration. The first
thing to do is distance your aircraft from the carrier. That
way, you can make your turn, get lined up well in advance, and
make sure your aircraft is in order. Turn back toward the
carrier when you can no longer see the landing indicator lights at
the aft of the Ark Royal.
On final approach, announce "f" via keyboard. Drop
your gear when cleared to land and steadily slow your aircraft
prior to crossing the wake of the carrier. Wyatt's personal
preferences at this point when landing on the HMS York:
Wade's preferences when landing on the HMS Ark Royal at this
- ~150 mph
- full flaps
- ~500 feet above MSL (Mean Sea Level)
- 130-140 mph
- half to 3/4 flaps
- less than 200 feet above MSL (Mean Sea Level)
Again, your preferences may differ. Just remember that high
and fast is preferable to low and slow. Check your speed and
altitude when you cross the wake on your first few successful
attempts. If you make an easy landing, then try to hit that speed
and altitude every time you make your final approach.
Ready for touchdown. You must know the stall speed of your
aircraft when landing and make your speed a few mphs above it.
In a Hawker, you can get away with a little less than 100 mph,
whereas Corsairs will stall at less than 110 mph. If you
tend to splash short, try a little more speed. If you're
skidding right across the deck and into the drink, try less speed.
If you drop like a pancake, try a little more speed and less
DO NOT hit your tail hook (forward slash key /) until you hear
your tires squeak. And by all means make sure your nose is
up when you land to avoid prop strike. Now that you're
safely on deck, park your plane on the starboard side (where tower
is) and enjoy watching other pilots' attempts to land. It's
best to keep speed down to 10 mph while on deck.
CARRIER LANDINGS WITH MORE THAN 2 PILOTS:
When we have numerous pilots to land, 1 pilot shall be appointed
the lead man. Then, all other pilots line up after him.
Everyone should make a turn at the same location the lead man
turns to make his approach. Make your separation at least
2000 ft. If you get too close on approach, break off and get
to the back of the line. If you abort landing, continue
flying past carrier deck and circle to back of line. We can
land 8 guys safely within 30 minutes. Practice a couple of
landings before getting online. It will do you wonders.