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Old 03-13-2019, 01:47 PM   #1
CBStu
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Default Curious why carrier pattern

Just a curiosity. I have gotten reasonably competent at straight in carrier traps. So started trying the pattern traps. Dang it is difficult. So then I was thinking, since it is so difficult, why do they do it this way. Why in RL not have some kind of race track hold pattern 2-3 miles behind ship so the pilot would have that 2-3 miles to get on speed and do a straight in trap?
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:49 PM   #2
NeilWillis
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The most obvious reason would be to keep the ship and all other aircraft in the pattern in sight.

The procedures are evolved through thousands of hours of flying around the boat and are arrived at from the expert input of pilots who have done the job. It clearly works well this way.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:03 PM   #3
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Carrier recovery is mostly done ZipLip. So when in the overhead, the lower aircraft check the deck, and when the deck is about to come clear, he left the overhead to enter the recovery pattern.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:10 PM   #4
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The landing pattern is one of the basic fundamentals of flying that every pilot learns from day one. Conforming to the pattern with precise altitudes, power settings, air speeds and positions, helps simplify and make landing safer and more consistent. I can see if you're only experience with flying is sims, this wouldn't be evident. Flying consistent traffic pattern helps/ensures that you land consistently regardless of the airport. Very important for newer and older pilots.

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Old 03-13-2019, 02:47 PM   #5
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Efficiency. Case 1 can recover every 45 secs, have multiple aircraft in the stack and all be visual with the Airboss in tight control, have a missed approach (spin), holding pattern (Marshal stack) and have the ability to do it silently all in 5 miles space in good weather.


Logically, you created a 2-3 mile single pattern, because missed approaches for visual have to work their way back into the landing cycle with others who didn't miss. There's no real significant difference between Case 1 patterns and a typical uncontrolled airport using an overhead break. It's still crosswind, downwind and base. Case 1 adds the concept of a longer runout to the break turn as an entry point as well the marshal stack above.


What OP described is a miniature case3. If you mess up anywhere you are taking another 5-10 minutes minimum and forcing all the traffic out the same direction and that means super slow slow recoveries of multiple airframes.

Whilst it might require attention to detail, this is still general airmanship. There's effort involved.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:48 AM   #6
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It's all about timing and executing the Case 1 pattern within visual range of the carrier. The pattern parameters are as small as the VX and Pax River guys could make it and still be reasonably achievable by a first tour first cruise nugget Hornet pilot after the prescribed training syllabus.

Pikey is right. Bigger patterns take more time and time is fuel. Fuel aloft is always at a premium and you can't have a gigantic bolter pattern full of fuel emergencies.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:33 PM   #7
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Guys that all seems to make sense. I guess one thing different?? compared to a pattern at a land airport would be that the planes aren't doing the AOA on speed style of flying right? I will have to try the 'quick action' land approach but fly it like a carrier pattern while keeping speed at maybe 160-170 and doing a flare style landing. This is what I love about SIM flying. It's a way to try things, and learn things, at very little expense and no danger. Of course the answer for me RE; carrier pattern traps, is probably to do a 100 more so all of this becomes a little closer to 'normal'. Thanks for you thoughts and experience.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:25 PM   #8
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That technique isn't accurate enough to land consistently in the wires, with adequate hook to ramp clearance and at a velocity that won't over stress the arresting gear or aircraft.

The rest is efficiency as others have said.

The pattern in the old propellor days and early jets on straight deck carriers was flown much lower on downwind ~200-250 feet and almost a constant turn to touchdown so pilots could see over big, radial engines.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBStu View Post
Guys that all seems to make sense. I guess one thing different?? compared to a pattern at a land airport would be that the planes aren't doing the AOA on speed style of flying right? I will have to try the 'quick action' land approach but fly it like a carrier pattern while keeping speed at maybe 160-170 and doing a flare style landing. This is what I love about SIM flying. It's a way to try things, and learn things, at very little expense and no danger. Of course the answer for me RE; carrier pattern traps, is probably to do a 100 more so all of this becomes a little closer to 'normal'. Thanks for you thoughts and experience.
Hate to break it to you but overhead break pattern often flown at air fields as well. As are standard left or right patterns, straight in approaches, etc. However, the approach shouldn't matter, what you are struggling with is common. Carrier jets fly on the backside of power curve, just takes some practice to get used to. You need to learn to get on speed and trimmed up quickly without big changes in altitude, then learn the amount of throttle needed when turning to control sink. Navigating the pattern isn't complicated once you can fly the plane precisely. Just find some space and practice getting on speed without gaining/losing altitude, over and over again. 350 kts, 180 degree turn to on speed & dirty. Practice flying around on speed, get the hang of the amount of throttle required when you turn (anticipate it, don't wait until you sink). You can keep your hook up and do touch and goes on carrier as well.

Practicing at an airfield is fine as well but don't flare the hornet. Carrier jets land differently. Field landings in the Hornet should still be flown with the "AoA style" in your words, get on speed AoA on downwind leg, turn base w/ short final like landing on a carrier. If you want to soften the landing don't flare by fulling back the stick, it will just jack up your aoa. Remember, you control altitude w/ throttle in the bug. If you want to soften the landing give it a little throttle right before touch down to decrease V speed. Check vid below, notice the short final, just like carrier pattern, no changes in pitch all the way down. The difference between the two landings is the second pilot increases throttle (you can hear it), as I described above. Its not necessary, just softens the impact https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdDXom3-4do

That's just how carrier planes work. You fly approach on the backside of power curve, so controls are reversed. I think it will just confuse you at this point but if you're curious there's reasons for this, read up on induced vs. parasitic drag. When you learn to fly it gets drilled in your head to get rid of the too low -> pull up -> increase sink/stall -> dead scenario that has caused many crashes, both real and simulated.

Compare to our next toy, the f-16 (vid below). The flare to land, squat to pee joke comes from, well, first part at least comes from landing procedure. You still fly AoA so the indexer/hud staple isn't going anywhere, but its landed in a typical non-carrier plane manner. Its is much slicker jet, even dirty, so it doesn't slow down like a Hornet. Fly AoA and same 3 degree slope on approach, too high and you scrape, to low and you will float halfway down the runway. Aim for the numbers, engines to idle and flare to 13 degrees when a few feet above the runway (no more than 13 or scrape). Gently set the rear wheels down (notice those dainty little landing gear), hold AoA (keep nose up) to aero brake, and as speed drops the nose will settle gently (notice even daintier nosegear). One of the landings in vid driver flared late and bounced. Much less stress on plane, so can be built lighter - hence the range/payload advantage of USAF fighters vs USN. Of course, under normal circumstances they have 8,000 ft of runway, not less than 6k. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDlOzB6rS_w&f=
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:24 PM   #10
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Your controls are not reversed and you are not on the backside of the power curve. Where do you guys get this stuff?
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