Verify your distance abeam (0.9-1.1 nm). Failing to monitor the abeam distance and either angling in or
away will result in being too close or wide abeam. Make the abeam call only if an aircraft is not on the ball.
At any time during the pattern, the LSO may ask for your qual numberrespond accordingly.
The ship will have a 25-30 kt wind across the deck. Turn abeam the LSO platform. The abeam and the
180 are collocated at the ship. Proper setup at the 180 cannot be overemphasized. A poor setup at the
180 makes a good start almost impossible.
At the abeam position, roll into 27-30 degrees AOB and adjust power and nose slightly to set up a 200-300
fpm rate of descent. Maintaining optimum AOA is essential. It will be much more difficult to obtain a
consistent 90 if optimum AOA is not maintained.
NOTE: If you are too close abeam, turning a little later may be required to allow for enough straight away.
If you are too wide abeam, turning a little earlier may help prevent a long-in-the-groove.
When at the 90, maintain optimum AOA, a 27-30 degree AOB turn (to avoid an overshoot/ undershoot),
cross-check altitude (450 ft AGL), and increase VSI to a 500-fpm descent. Because the ship is moving
away from you, you will appear high and tight. It is a common tendency that, while coming through the 90-
degree position, you will increase rate of descent and shallow your AOB due to the appearance of the ship.
Resist the tendency to reduce AOB and to increase your rate of descent. The ship is moving away from
At the 45-degree position (the 45), you may be able to start to acquire the ball. Adjust AOB as necessary
to roll out on centerline. Cross-check altitude 325-375 ft, maintain AOA, and proper rate of descent.
NOTE: An advisory call from the LSO (Keep your turn in) normally occurs from the 90 to the groove to
avoid an overshooting start. Maximum AOB will be required in order to stop the overshoot. If greater AOB
turn is needed, a waveoff by the LSO will result.
As you roll wings level, reduce power slightly to maintain on-speed and a proper rate of descent and call
the ball. If you do not see the ball, call Clara. Do not descend below 300 ft. Do not fixate on the ball but
continue to scan your lineup and AOA. Glideslope becomes progressively narrower as you get closer to
touchdown, you must decrease the magnitude of each correction for an equivalent amount of ball move-
ment as you approach touchdown. The wings level transition is the most dynamic phase of each pass.
The excess energy required in the turn to maintain proper AOA must be bled off while maintaining opti-
mum AOA and rate of descent.
Roll into the groove using the extended centerline of the angled deck as your reference. Roll out with the
centerline between your legs and keep it there all the way to touchdown. If it becomes necessary for the
ship to create its own wind, lineup will be more difficult as the ships centerline will be moving constantly to
Scan the lineup all the way to touchdown, using small wing dips to make corrections. Lineup is critical at
the shipmany accidents during carrier operations are lineup related.