It ain’t all that in the fleet, nor in naval aviation either, as CJ Chivers reports in the New York Times:
“If I could guarantee that you would never need this training, I would say, ‘O.K., sit in the back and use your iPhone and do whatever you want to do while the rest of us work,’ ” he said. “But these exercises are all based on real incidents, and sometimes on recurrent real incidents.”
He added: “No one plans for this kind of mishap. People don’t go to work one day expecting that they will have to eject. But it happens. And when it happens, they have to be ready.”
That statement aligned with the experience of Lt. Jonathan D. Farley, an F/A-18 pilot who volunteered in late 2007 to serve as a downed pilot for a rescue-training exercise on the West Coast. Lieutenant Farley was picked up from the ground by an MH-60 helicopter crew.
As the helicopter returned to an aircraft carrier with him in a back seat, the exercise turned real.
“I wasn’t paying attention,” he said. “I was along for the ride.” Then he saw multiple warning lights flash at once in the cockpit’s instrument panel. A crewman near him pointed toward the water and then assumed a brace position.
The helicopter was going down.
Without time to prepare, Lieutenant Farley was trapped in a sequence straight from the dunk-tank course.
Which you’d have known all about, had you been trolling the through the 2004 archives of this very site.
NYT: All the news that fits
NL: All the news that fits, first! With even more Roger.