A interesting (former) A-7 pilot interview
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Thread: A interesting (former) A-7 pilot interview

  1. #1

    A interesting (former) A-7 pilot interview


  2. #2
    Senior Administrator PRB's Avatar
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    When he was in VA-22 on Enterprise, I was in VA-94, the other A-7 squadron in CAG-11. Don't remember the name though, but I didn't know any of the pilots in VA-22 anyway.
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  3. #3
    Brings back memories, though I flew A-4s and then A-6s.

    One note about CarQuals on LEX. She had a wooden deck, but steel plating had been laid over it in the landing area and the catapult areas. Nonskid covered the wood and the steel, but non-skid constantly would break loose from wooded areas. All the 27C converted ESSEX had the same problem. The Flight Deck crew (V1-Division) was constantly having to touch up areas during in port times.

    The 27Cs weren't just small in size - they used a 4 deg vice 3 deg glideslope and had a target 10 ft hook to ramp vice a 15 ft hook to ramp clearance with a centered ball. Arresting gear runout was about 200 ft vice 300 ft on big carriers. It always amazed me that A-3 tankers operated from 27Cs in Vietnam.

    I did TraCom and RAG CarQuals on Lex in the T-2A, TF-9J, A-4E and A-6E. Day and night in the A-4 and A-6. My shoulders still feel like they have been pulled out of their sockets from the experience.

  4. #4
    Senior Administrator PRB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike71 View Post
    Brings back memories, though I flew A-4s and then A-6s.

    One note about CarQuals on LEX. She had a wooden deck, but steel plating had been laid over it in the landing area and the catapult areas. Nonskid covered the wood and the steel, but non-skid constantly would break loose from wooded areas. All the 27C converted ESSEX had the same problem. The Flight Deck crew (V1-Division) was constantly having to touch up areas during in port times.

    The 27Cs weren't just small in size - they used a 4 deg vice 3 deg glideslope and had a target 10 ft hook to ramp vice a 15 ft hook to ramp clearance with a centered ball. Arresting gear runout was about 200 ft vice 300 ft on big carriers. It always amazed me that A-3 tankers operated from 27Cs in Vietnam.

    I did TraCom and RAG CarQuals on Lex in the T-2A, TF-9J, A-4E and A-6E. Day and night in the A-4 and A-6. My shoulders still feel like they have been pulled out of their sockets from the experience.
    Interesting about the glide slope, hook to deck clearance, and runout length. What about the Midways? They're a little bigger than the 27Cs, and a little smaller than the big carriers. I wonder what the runout distance was on those. My one and only trap was in a US-3 Viking, on Midway.

    He commented about the FLIR pods. Back then only one of the two A-7 squadrons in the CAG got them. We, as avionics techs, were happy VA-22 got those things and not us. Those old giant FLIR pods needed a lot of maintenance!
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    Senior Administrator PRB's Avatar
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    Here's a pic of a VA-22 A-7 with the gig giant FLIR pod, on Enterprise, 1983 (ish):

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by PRB View Post
    Interesting about the glide slope, hook to deck clearance, and runout length. What about the Midways? They're a little bigger than the 27Cs, and a little smaller than the big carriers. I wonder what the runout distance was on those. My one and only trap was in a US-3 Viking, on Midway ----
    The MIDWAYS were a mixed bag as they were modernized over time. Although they were all built as straight decks and converted to angle decks, only MIDWAY received a massive conversion that allowed operating F-14s and E-2s. The 1966-1970 conversions was slow and expensive so the remaining 2 received cheap refits limiting their usefulness.

    I do not have data on these ships but I do know CV-41 did have cats and gear similar to NIMITZ and assume runout and glideslope data was similar. The CORAL SEA AND ROOSEVELT were likely less but better than a 27C.

    All the CV-41s had low freeboard, low hanger deck height, were not great sea keepers and suffered from "wet deck" syndrome.

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