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      02-16-2024, 05:49 AM   #2531
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Late again for Tomcat Thursday!
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      02-16-2024, 05:53 AM   #2532
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But it was the mobilization of the whole nation, including women who had never worked before but worked in aircraft factories, etc.,
And let's not forget the WASPs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_...Service_Pilots


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      02-16-2024, 06:04 AM   #2533
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Late again for Tomcat Thursday!
It's Fomcat Friday.
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      02-16-2024, 10:01 AM   #2534
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Originally Posted by ezaircon4jc View Post
I worked this departure sector for many, many years. I have NO idea what this "controller" was doing. First mistake was climbing both of them; even though he never climbed ACA. We used to train "paper stops" to keep the second guy below the first guy in this situation. Why he turned ACA to 110 is way beyond me! I always gave a left turn to 360, then direct LAX when they were pointed in the correct (north) direction. For noise abatement, the a/c is supposed to fly over LAX on their way northeast. This is happening "regularly" at LAX and is one of the reasons I drive and refuse to fly!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAskTcFEWSc
What in the hell! Idiots.. LAX ATC for the win, that was a super close call.
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      02-16-2024, 05:04 PM   #2535
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Originally Posted by ezaircon4jc View Post
I worked this departure sector for many, many years. I have NO idea what this "controller" was doing.
"...and just to advise we had an RA there"

Translation, please?????
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      02-16-2024, 09:37 PM   #2536
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We have an ace! The USS Bataan (LHD 5) is deployed to the Red Sea area with a detachment of VMA-231 Harriers on board. Marine Captain Earl Ehrhart of VMA-231 has intercepted and shot down 7 Houthi drones during his deployment.
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      02-17-2024, 08:31 AM   #2537
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Although it's not Tomcat Thursday, I thought a deeper dive into the marvelous Grumman F-14 Tomcat might be in order. Here it is.

In the late 1950s the U.S. Navy developed the F-4 Phantom Mach 2 all-weather fighter, which had a very successful career spanning many decades. But, as is the custom, as soon as one aircraft comes into service, the military starts thinking about the next generation.

Both the Navy and the Air Force were looking to develop next-generation fighters around 1960. The Navy wanted a fleet air defense fighter to function as an interceptor to defend carrier groups against Soviet air attack and the Air Force wanted a high-performance strike aircraft to carry nuclear weapons. The turbofan engine was coming into service and promised good performance with lower fuel consumption that the older turbojets. In addition, various test aircraft had used variable-geometry wings which promised good performance: minimum wing sweep for good low-speed performance and maximum sweep for low drag and high speed.

The two services' missions were distinctly different, but the idiot Secretary of Defense at the time, decreed that Navy and Air Force would use the same airplane, with minor changes for each service. Thus was born the TFX, which became the F-111. The variable-geometry wing proved very successful and mostly trouble-free. The high-performance afterburning turbofan engine was another matter and the F-111 had problems with the Pratt & Whitney TF30 engine from the start. The Air Force, planning to operate its F-111s from runways on land, was one matter but the Navy, for which low-speed characteristics in the carrier landing mode was critical, was not at all happy with the TF30. Nevertheless, management mandated the two services use the same aircraft.

The Air Force's F-111A had engine and intake difficulties that took years to fully resolve but had excellent qualities for all-weather strike (and the Vietnam War tested those qualities.) The USAF went on to develop improved F-111D, E and F versions that served well for years.

The Navy's F-111B was troubled: The Air Force was the lead service and had specified an aircraft that was marginally too large for carrier decks. The TF30 was marginal in the carrier landing environment, where rapid throttle response is critical in case a carrier landing must be aborted at the last moment. The F-111B did, however, have an excellent weapons system and used the large and advanced AIM-54 long-range air-to-air missile.

The Secretary of Defense was unbothered by Navy objections and determined to see his program through to the end. Fortunately, members of Congress saw what was happening and ended up forcing cancellation of the Navy F-111B.

The F-111 was a General Dynamics product and for the Navy F-111B version had partnered with Grumman, a reliable and preferred contractor for the Navy. When the F-111B got into trouble, Grumman started work on an alternative fighter using the same weapons system and TF30 engines of the F-111B. Upon cancellation of the B, Grumman was ready with a proposal for a new fleet air defense fighter. The Navy liked what they saw on paper and the design was funded.

The resulting F-14A was still a large fighter, as it had to be with a large radar, two TF30 engines, etc., but it was optimized for aircraft carrier operations. The prototype F-14A flew in late 1970 and the Navy was pleased. With all the advanced tech and capabilities, it was expensive, but the program forged ahead.

The Navy ended up buying 557 F-14As with the last deliveries in 1987. Everyone concerned was fully aware of the limitations of the P&W TF30 engine in the F-14A. The Navy originally wanted to buy a limited number of F-14As and then upgrade to an F-14B model with a P&W F401 engine related to the F-15's F100. Budget realities prevented that move and the F401 proved to have some difficulties as well. The Navy's plan to fix the TF30 was put on hold. (They also planned to upgrade the radar of the F-14Bs and build F-14Cs with new engines and new radar; that never happened either.)

The F-14A equipped almost all the carrier fighter squadrons by the 1980s. TF30 problems continued but the pilots developed workarounds. Nevertheless, the Navy finally found money to upgrade the propulsion system by installing the General Electric F110 engine. The single F-14B test aircraft was dusted off and fitted with F110s. The result was gratifying. The Navy ordered 36 new production F-14A+s, which were soon redesignated F-14B and converted 32 F-14As to the F-14B as well. The F-14B equipped about six fighter squadrons.

The next step was a weapons system upgrade. The original radar inherited from the F-111B was replaced by a new radar and the resulting F-14D was given other smaller upgrades as well. The Navy finally had an outstanding carrier fighter in all respects and planned to buy 127 F-14Ds and remanufacture 104 F-14As to the new standard for a force of 231 aircraft. Budget woes put an end to those plans and in the end 37 new F-14Ds were produced and only 18 F-14As were converted for a total of 55 F-14Ds. Just four fighter squadrons got F-14Ds, and a number of squadrons continued to make do with F-14As.

For those doing the math, that makes a total of 630 U.S. Navy F-14s of all models.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_F-14_Tomcat

I haven't addressed the Tomcat's fangs and claws yet; let me add that in another post.
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      02-17-2024, 09:38 AM   #2538
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The F-14 Tomcat was, after all, a fighter and was useless without weapons and the systems to effectively employ them. I've already discussed the two radar systems used by the F-14: An earlier AWG-9 radar inherited from the early '60s F-111B and used on the F-14A and F-14B and the 1980s APG-71 used on the F-14D.

The Navy had learned its lesson from Vietnam. The Navy F-4s did not have cannon armament and missed opportunities to down enemy aircraft on multiple occasions. All F-14s had a 20mm rotating-barrel M61 Vulcan cannon.

For defense against large-scale airborne attacks by massed Soviet bombers, the AIM-54 Phoenix was the weapon of choice. In the 1970s it was the longest-range air-to-air missile in the U.S. inventory -- about 100 nautical miles. It weighed about a thousand pounds at launch and had a sizeable warhead. There was some consideration given to developing a nuclear warhead for the AIM-54 but cooler heads prevailed. The F-14 could carry four belly-mounted AIM-54s and two could be carried on wing pylons. Six missiles were not carried operationally. (Note that recent models of the AIM-120 AMRAAM now rival the AIM-54's range.) After the end of the Cold War and with the lesser threat of Russian air attack on carriers, the AIM-54 was retired.

In lieu of the Phoenix, four AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missiles could be carried semi-submerged on the belly and another two on the wing pylons.

AIM-9 Sidewinders were also carried: Up to four on the wing pylons.

To the best of my knowledge the AIM-120 AMRAAM was never used by the F-14.

The F-14 was not originally equipped for bombing or strike missions. Early tests revealed that bombs would not drop cleanly away given the aerodynamic forces in the "tunnel" between the engines. In the 1980s the F-14 was finally given attack capability with 1,000 or 2,000 pounders, including laser-guided bombs, carried on the belly. The Air Force's LANTRIN pod was also adapted for carry on a wing pylon, giving the F-14 laser designation and night attack capabilities.

The F-14, originally designed strictly with air-to-air missions in mind, finally became a capable all-around combat aircraft.

One additional note... With the withdrawal of dedicated photo recon aircraft (RF-8G Crusaders and RA-5C Vigilantes) from aircraft carriers in the 1980s, the F-14 was adapted for the recon mission with a TARPS pod carried on the belly.
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      02-17-2024, 04:13 PM   #2539
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vreihen16 View Post
"...and just to advise we had an RA there"

Translation, please?????
RA = Resolution Advisory. That's part of the Traffic Collision Advisory System (TCAS).

Basically, on the glass Navigational Display, an airplane that has TCAS will "see and display" other aircraft near them (basically each airplane shows each other airplane where they are in space and altitude by having their transponders talk to each other).

You can see basically four things (and each will show altitude of traffic above/below you as it changes)--

A clear diamond means that traffic is out there.

A solid diamond means that traffic is close to you.

A yellow circle means that traffic could become a problem in about ~45 seconds. This is a TA (Traffic Advisory).

A red square means that you MUST take immediate action within about ~30 seconds or you're going to hit another aircraft. This is a RA (Resolution Advisory). Additionally, on your Primary Flight Display (what used to be called the artificial horizon), you'll get a series of red lines above or below you (they sort of look like a red trapazoidal outline) that tell you where NOT to be. And, TCAS will tell you what to do "Climb, Climb" or "Descend, Descend" to get out of the Red Trapazoids of Doom.

Basically, what TCAS is doing is having all of the aircraft around you's transponders talk to each other and figure out their proximity to each other. In the case of a conflict (an RA) TCAS will command one aircraft to climb and the other to descend to avoid hitting each other.

It's pretty magic and has saved a TON of lives. Professional pilots and controllers are usually excellent, but mistakes happen.

Read up here if you're interested (and it shows pictures of what I'm talking about):

https://www.aviationmatters.co/tcas-guide/

R.
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      02-17-2024, 07:00 PM   #2540
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Is there any mandatory paperwork required of the controller(s) or involved pilots/airlines by the time something reaches RA level?????
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      02-17-2024, 11:35 PM   #2541
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Is there any mandatory paperwork required of the controller(s) or involved pilots/airlines by the time something reaches RA level?????
For controllers, only if there was a "deal" (error) involved. I had to deal with more than one RA, even though I had legal separation. We had a departure route climbing to 90 and an arrival route over the top descending to 100. One of the aircraft, usually the descender, would get an RA if the guy climbing to 90 was climbing rapidly, even though the last thousand feet was supposed to be at 500' per minute. TCAS would also "alert" on GA's that were flying, legally, 500' below the downwind and final. As a controller, I wasn't a fan of TCAS, though with the current "professionalism" and (lack of talent), its probably saved a few mid-airs. The same situation happened at LAX a couple/three years ago. When asked why he climbed both aircraft, one right into the other, he said he figured TCAS would fix it.
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      02-18-2024, 12:02 AM   #2542
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Is there any mandatory paperwork required of the controller(s) or involved pilots/airlines by the time something reaches RA level?????
For pilots (at least at my airline), you're required to file what's called an FSAP (Flight Safety Awareness Program)-- which is part of a larger FAA program called ASAP (Aviation Safety Awareness Program).

I don't want to get *too* in-depth, but the big picture is that the Fed's have figured out that it's better to do forgiveness for making a mistake rather than bringing the hammer down for each infraction-- because Safety is of paramount importance-- i.e. by being forgiving and not trying to ruin a pilot's life for making an honest mistake, the Fed's get a lot more Safety reports and can fix problems that may be occuring in the system.

By filing an FSAP (and all pilots on the crew have to file for individual protection), you are protected from certificate action unless what you're reporting is an act of willful or intentional negligence or unsafe operation-- In other words, if you honestly screw something up (e.g. putting yourself in a position where you get an RA), you confess your sins (and it's a very long and detailed report), your job is protected and the Fed's get the information to figure out what happened to create an unsafe condition and how to potentially mitigate it in the future. The report goes to a ton of people-- the Union, the Airline, the FAA, and whomever it might affect (ATC, Airport Operations, etc.)

Basically, filing an FSAP allows the FAA to figure out WHAT went wrong-- which is then treated as a lot more important than WHO screwed up. Every single flight has errors-- whether they're from Ramp Controllers, Operations, the flight crew, ATC (Ground, Tower, Departure, Enroute, Arrival, etc.)-- the goal is to figure out what went wrong, and then mitigate it from happening in the future.

It took far too long for the Feds to figure out that pilots make honest mistakes for whatever reason (go figure). By changing from a punitive to a collaborative environment, the FAA has solved a lot of unsafe conditions/procedures/etc. and have prevented an unknown amount of future accidents.

I'm a big fan of the program-- it's a Good Thing.

R.
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      02-18-2024, 08:35 AM   #2543
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An addendum to the F-14 posts:

Export of the F-14: Several nations expressed interest in the F-14, but only Iran actually bought them. The Shah of Iran bought 80 F-14As and AIM-54 Phoenix missiles in the 1970s for the Imperial Iranian Air Force. After the Islamic Revolution, U.S. support was withdrawn but, against all expectations, the Iranian Islamic Air Force managed to keep a number of F-14As and Phoenix missiles operational. During the Iran-Iraq war, a number of Iranian crews became aces by shooting down Iraqi aircraft. Current estimates are that fewer than 30 F-14As remain serviceable.

The AIM-54 Phoenix missile: The AIM-54 has a lot of rocket motor, which gives it outstanding performance despite its weight. After launch, it accelerates to about Mach 5 and climbs to 100,000 feet. Once it gets within range, it has an active radar in the nose which homes on the target. As stated before, more advanced air-to-air-missiles rival its performance, but it was a standout in the 1960s when it was developed. The U.S. Navy retired the Phoenix in 2004.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-54_Phoenix

I also neglected to post that the U.S. Navy retired the F-14 in 2006. Its replacement was the F/A-18F Super Hornet, which lacked the speed and range of the F-14 but is more modern and more easily supportable.
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      02-18-2024, 04:20 PM   #2544
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybigjet View Post
For pilots (at least at my airline), you're required to file what's called an FSAP (Flight Safety Awareness Program)-- which is part of a larger FAA program called ASAP (Aviation Safety Awareness Program).

I don't want to get *too* in-depth, but the big picture is that the Fed's have figured out that it's better to do forgiveness for making a mistake rather than bringing the hammer down for each infraction-- because Safety is of paramount importance-- i.e. by being forgiving and not trying to ruin a pilot's life for making an honest mistake, the Fed's get a lot more Safety reports and can fix problems that may be occuring in the system.

By filing an FSAP (and all pilots on the crew have to file for individual protection), you are protected from certificate action unless what you're reporting is an act of willful or intentional negligence or unsafe operation-- In other words, if you honestly screw something up (e.g. putting yourself in a position where you get an RA), you confess your sins (and it's a very long and detailed report), your job is protected and the Fed's get the information to figure out what happened to create an unsafe condition and how to potentially mitigate it in the future. The report goes to a ton of people-- the Union, the Airline, the FAA, and whomever it might affect (ATC, Airport Operations, etc.)

Basically, filing an FSAP allows the FAA to figure out WHAT went wrong-- which is then treated as a lot more important than WHO screwed up. Every single flight has errors-- whether they're from Ramp Controllers, Operations, the flight crew, ATC (Ground, Tower, Departure, Enroute, Arrival, etc.)-- the goal is to figure out what went wrong, and then mitigate it from happening in the future.

It took far too long for the Feds to figure out that pilots make honest mistakes for whatever reason (go figure). By changing from a punitive to a collaborative environment, the FAA has solved a lot of unsafe conditions/procedures/etc. and have prevented an unknown amount of future accidents.

I'm a big fan of the program-- it's a Good Thing.

R.
Granted, I retired/got fired 10 years ago, but I never saw a pilot's RA report . Our reporting system was called ATSAP; probably the same thing, but we were "encouraged" to be as vague as possible. Being an employee of the FAA (Dep't of Trans specifically), ATSAP protected us from punitive actions. The problem without the "consequence" of losing certification & retraining, deals aren't taken too seriously. There used to be a policy that 3 deals in 18 months and one was off to a lower-density (read slower & easier) facility. That doesn't happen anymore.
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      02-18-2024, 04:34 PM   #2545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezaircon4jc View Post
Granted, I retired/got fired 10 years ago, but I never saw a pilot's RA report . Our reporting system was called ATSAP; probably the same thing, but we were "encouraged" to be as vague as possible. Being an employee of the FAA (Dep't of Trans specifically), ATSAP protected us from punitive actions. The problem without the "consequence" of losing certification & retraining, deals aren't taken too seriously. There used to be a policy that 3 deals in 18 months and one was off to a lower-density (read slower & easier) facility. That doesn't happen anymore.
Think "upper levels of ATC" getting the reports, not the individual controller.

More along the lines of "There are consistently RA's being FSAP'd at a certain location/departure/arrival"-- why? That would drive coordination with the FAA & ATC to implement a solution like greater separation/divergence to mitigate the threat in that particular area.

Having been in the airlines for over 25 years as a First Officer, Captain and Line Check Airman.... I (and the bubba's that I know) are pretty serious about filling out the FSAP's properly as that gives you the protection against certificate action. The online form takes at least 45 minutes and needs a lot of information-- most blocks are mandatory, so if you attempt to blow one off, you can't go forward with the submission.

I always teach "Minimal information on required company reports, confess your sins in detail on the FSAP's".

R.
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      02-20-2024, 05:22 AM   #2546
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Cal Fire (The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) is about to get some good reinforcements; Congress mandated that seven Coast Guard HC-130H Hercules be transferred to Cal Fire. It has taken some time to modify the aircraft for the task but they are on the way.
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      02-22-2024, 06:25 AM   #2547
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In the mid-1930s, Germany began construction of an aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin. Accordingly, they needed carrier aircraft.

The Fieseler Fi 167 was a dive bomber designed for carrier use. Although it used the biplane layout, it was relatively fast (325 km/hr) and had a 1,000 kg bomb load. Very few were built, as construction of the carrier was delayed and then cancelled.

The aircraft complement of the German carrier was originally planned to be Messerschmitt Bf 109T carrier fighters and the Fi 167. As the project was delayed. Junkers Ju 87 dive bombers were added to the mix. In the end, only small numbers of carrier aircraft were built and never became operational.
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      02-22-2024, 06:29 AM   #2548
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Here's an impressive lineup of German F-104Gs. Germany was the largest customer for the Starfighter, with over 900 purchased for the air force and navy. F-104Gs were tasked with fighter missions and for delivery of nuclear weapons in the event that the Cold War turned hot.
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      02-22-2024, 06:44 AM   #2549
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Here's an impressive lineup of German F-104Gs.
Line-up of Marinefliegergeschwader 2 at Schleswig-Jagel AB in summer 1986.

Link:
http://www.916-starfighter.de/Large/...GEeggeline.htm

My dad was already back in Canada when this picture was taken. He loved the plane but didn't care about the mission. Turning a high speed interceptor into a low level ground support airplane killed a few pilots. Hence the nickname "Widowmaker". He used to say [jokingly] that it took three countries to make a turn and get on final.
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      02-22-2024, 06:57 AM   #2550
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Originally Posted by Lady Jane View Post
Turning a high speed interceptor into a low level ground support airplane killed a few pilots. Hence the nickname "Widowmaker".
Not a few planes have been (mis)used in that way. The F-104 may be the poster child.
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      02-22-2024, 08:23 AM   #2551
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Tomcat Thursday!

The F-14 Tomcat does not have folding wings as so many Navy carrier aircraft do. But it is critical to minimize the amount of space that each aircraft uses on crowded carrier decks. The Grumman engineers came up with a novel approach to this issue: The F-14's wing sweeps to a maximum of 68 degrees in flight. However, there is an oversweep function that allows an F-14 on the ground to sweep its wings to 75 degrees, thereby minimizing the width. This is an F-14 of VF-2 'Bounty Hunters' on a carrier elevator illustrating the oversweep.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Jane View Post
Turning a high speed interceptor into a low level ground support airplane killed a few pilots. Hence the nickname "Widowmaker".
I thought that they called the F-104 the widowmaker because of its downward-firing ejection seats? When a pilot needed to punch out when close to the ground, they were supposed to roll the plane upside-down so that the ejector seat would throw them upwards.....
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