Flight Deck Procedures
Throttle back: Catapult Officer/CSPO stands in front of aircrafts wing and holds one fist above head
with thumb up, then grasps thumb with other hand and rocks as if pulling throttle back.
WARNING: Do not throttle back until the catapult officer walks in front of the aircraft and gives the
throttle back signal during suspended launches.
When directed by the catapult director (yellow shirt), place the launch bar switch to EXTEND; the nose
wheel steering (NWS) is automatically disengaged with the launch bar extended.
The yellow shirt may signal to reengage NWS to get the launch bar seated properly into the catapult track
(the box). Press and hold the NWS button and slowly apply rudder as directed by the yellow shirt. Once
the launch bar is properly seated in the track, the director will signal you to disengage NWS.
CAUTION: Very small NWS inputs are required. Do not apply excessive NWS inputs during
hookup. Deck personnel are working around the nose gear.
CAUTION: Never operate the parking brake beyond the JBD.
Following signals, taxi forward slowly to position the launch bar over the shuttle (significant power may be
required). When the launch bar drops over the shuttle, the aircraft will be stopped as the holdback engages
the catapult buffer.
CAUTION: To prevent the possibility of breaking the holdback link, you must keep taxi speed to a
Apply and hold the brakes when signaled. When the take tension signal is given by the catapult director,
advance power to MRT, wipe out the controls, release the wheel brakes, place your heels on the deck,
with toes below the toe bars, (Figure 20) and then place the launch bar switch to RETRACT (launch bar
will be held down by shuttle tension). Grasp the catapult handgrip and lock your elbow. As tension is
taken, you will feel the aircraft squat.
WARNING: Selecting launch bar RETRACT before receiving the retract signal from the aircraft
director may raise the launch bar before it is properly seated in the shuttle spreader assembly,
resulting in a mispositioned launch bar.
CAUTION: If launch bar is retracted below max rpm, an ACCEL light may illuminate.
CAUTION: Failing to use the catapult grip could result in power settings less than MRT during the
During the engine runup and checks, the catapult director will pass control to the catapult officer. Check
your engine instruments (EGT, rpm, fuel flow) and monitor your central warning system indicators and
advisory lights while wiping out control surfaces. When wiping out the cockpit controls, verify the full throw
of the stick and rudder in all directions.
WARNING: Brakes may inadvertently be applied during a catapult launch, resulting in a blown
tire, even with heels placed on the deck.
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