Pic of the Day


060928-N-6363M-003 Pacific Ocean (Sept. 28, 2006) – An EA-6B Prowler assigned to the “Yellowjackets” of Electronic Attack Squadron One Three Eight (VAQ-138) makes an arrested landing aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

You know, I hate to start out all negative and everything, but its the middle of the week, its been raining the last 2 days, work bites and I have this problem with professionals and a lack of attention to detail.

Viewing the above image (full image can be found at http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=39572 ) and then reading the accompanying caption (from Navy News) should set off the aforementioned “lack of attention to detail” alarms I spoke of before.

Like most aviators, and naval aviators in particular, you hate to see screw-ups in popular media that pertain to your chosen field. I remember watching the film adaptation of Clancy’s book, “Hunt for Red October” when there was a ramp strike on the carrier they were on. They showed 3 different aircraft in the whole mishap evolution, one aircraft on approach, a different, second aircraft as it nears the ramp and yet a different, third type from archived footage of an actual ramp strike. The collective groan that came out during that sequence from the crowd I was watching it with (naval aviators all) was highlighted by rather spectacular and colorful curses towards whomever was the military consultant on that film who apparently didn’t think “attention to detail” was a big deal.

Getting back to the above mentioned EA-6B photo, and it may be small, but glaring in its buffoonery nonetheless, when an aircraft makes an arrested landing on an aircraft carrier, ITS TAILHOOK NEEDS TO BE DOWN.

The words of Gunnery Sergeant Washington, USMC, my drill instructor at Aviation Officer Candidate School, still echo in the vast emptiness of my brain…”Attention to detail, girls!”

–Posted by Pinch


  1. Pinch: Maybe that’s the new stealth tailhook. Or maybe the Navy has sold all of its tailhooks on eBay in order to fund an additional DD(X). And I just watched RED OCTOBER with my son a couple of weeks ago. (He loved it, BTW…a chip off the old blockhead!) I had to refrain from pointing out such inaccuracies (such as a landlubber is likely to notice) on the first viewing, but fear not. We will be digging into it on the next screening. All and all, I believe it’s an excellent film.

  2. Incidentally, I don’t believe that you ACCIDENTALLY chose a Grumman for your pic of the day. Are the Prowlers the last Ironworks planes in the fleet?

  3. I noticed the dodginess of that sequence too. Despite that, this is my #1 favorite movie. The cinematography is great, the suspense is good and the acting is good. I really like the relationship between Ramius (Sean Connery) and his XO (Sam Neil). ‘I will marry a fat American woman and she will cook rabbits for me. And I will buy a pick-up truck. I can drive to other states, da?’ ‘Da.’ ‘No papers?’ ‘No papers.’ I forgive them for the landing accident because there can’t be too many publically available films of planes crashing onto carriers and I guess they didn’t get all the angles they wanted with the one crash. At least that’s what I’m guessing.

  4. Murdoc, Simple coincidence that it HAD to be a Grumman platform that was caught by the navy photog while on a touch-and-go (there’s your answer Gab). And there ARE still other Grumman aircraft on the deck in the E-2 and C-2 – just no other jets. And until the Boeing folks figure a way to put a radar dome on a F-18 or extend the fuselage to carry a few dozen passengers and haul the mail, those Grumman products will be around for a while yet.