On The Cat

Camelot 101, our squadron jet with CO Dan “Chopper” Chopp on the RIO cockpit rail and XO Pete “Strick” Strickland” on the pilot rail, gets loaded up on catapult 2 on JFK.

At this particular point, the pilot has been signaled to sweep the wings out and you can see the RIO looking to the left, toward me and my camera, to ensure clearance and the wings won’t hit anything as they sweep forward. The pilot is concentrating on line up, following the director’s signals carefully to ensure the jet is lined up properly on the cat. Two green shirt hook up petty officers are near the nose gear watching the line up. It will be their responsibility to ensure a good hook-up between catapult shuttle and the aircraft launch bar.

Lots going on at this point. Weight board has been rogered by the RIO, your scan has jacked up a notch as those wings move and the jet is getting closer to launch. If there are weapons loaded, the “hand’s up” weapons arming evolution is coming by the ordnance guys (ordies) and the pucker factor is increasing rather expeditiously.

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