F/A-18 Hornet Video

F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet video. This is a great video, done for the 2014 Hornet Ball. Enjoy!

leland

 

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Read a sample of: Vengeance at Midway and Guadalcanal

#FREEsample of VENGEANCE at Midway and Guadalcanal; give it a read! First in the Aviators Series; novels seen from the cockpit set in the battles of WWII.

leland

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Read a sample of: Project Seven Alpha

#FREE sample of Project Seven Alpha; give it a read! First in the Aviators Series; novels seen from the cockpit set in the battles of WWII.

leland

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FREE Streaming music; at absolutepunk.net

#FREE music streaming now on absolutepunk.net  My son’s band, La Bella Charade, is streaming their latest recording. Yes; he is a pilot too!

leland

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Novelization of movie: Field of Lost Shoes, released!

Dave Kennedy has released the novelization of the movie Field of Lost Shoes. I read an advanced copy and really enjoyed it. Dave and I were in VX-30 together and put together the Discovery Documentary; Plane Crash. Give it a read.

 

Leland

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Full circle:Radials to Jets and back

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I wrote about returning to NAS Pensacola and the National Museum of Naval Aviation a couple of years ago. Much had changed, and much had not. Planes, people; even the base had changed after a hurricane smashed into it. But the feel of the area will always be the same for my wife Laura and I. It is where we and many other youngsters started a great adventure; Sean McDonald remains one of our closest friends in our continuing adventure.

We started together in class 8402, in January of 1983. 8402 was an Advanced Strike class; JETS! While Laura and I settled into the life of newlyweds, Sean and I settled into the turbulent skies as Student Naval Aviators. During the week we roamed the airspace over the beaches; on weekends their many distractions. Sean was our personal guide, he had grown up in Gulf Shores. We quickly fell in love with the area.

After receiving our wings at the Naval Aviation Museum, we got our orders. Sean, being a Marine, was headed to the AV-8A Harrier and I was ordered to the EA-3D Skywarrior. Fellow Aviators gasped, Laura cried; the survival rate on both aircraft was less than optimal.  The Harrier’s nickname was Scarrier for its propensity to dead bug and A-3D was joked to mean all three dead (the Skywarrior had no ejection seats for the 3-man crew). We observed that we apparently were not well liked! After bouncing around a bit I finally ended up on the USS Midway flying the EA-6B Prowler. Sean transitioned to the AV-8B; a much safer aircraft. We both survived as a bonus.

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EA-6B Prowler

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AV-8A Harrier

Our paths crossed many times: San Diego, Whidbey Island, Kingsville, Memphis, Cubi Point in the Philippines, and a crazy cross country drive with my brother Gregg. Laura shaking her head at most of our antics of youth.

It had started for me in the mighty T-28B Trojan; a throw back to WWII. The aircraft were older than the pilots; round engines powered by pistons made it the most macho trainer in the Navy.

t-28 over beach

 

I learned to fly the T-28 over the beaches in South Texas, out of NAS Corpus Christi. It was quite an aircraft to learn to fly on; but we didn’t know any different. I returned to those roots this week; appropriately with Laura and Sean. He took us up in his Waco bi-plane and we flew low and slow over the same beaches we used to streak over in T-2C and TA-4J Jets.

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Below is Fort Morgan from Sean’s Waco, somewhere I have the same photo from a TA-4J Skyhawk.

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After our careers in the military we both traded fighters for wide body airliners. Now we are returning to our roots; I’m looking for a round engine aircraft as well. Next year we will roam the skies together again in formation…..low and slow, but with a much better view.

leland

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BOOK 4 COMPLETE!

I haven’t been writing articles for a while so I could devote my time to finishing: CODE NAME Infamy. The initial manuscript is with my publisher for edit.

I hope to have it out in the next six weeks. I hope the wait will be worth it to my readers.

 

leland

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Multi-Tasking and the Fighter Pilot

 

I was watching one of the morning news shows today, a Professor of Psychology was talking about his new book (The Organized Mind ). While he was discussing it he made the following statement:

The brain doesn’t multi-task, it processes sequentially…

I laughed out loud; obviously he doesn’t know anything about fighter pilots. Each engagement, whether a training mission or actual combat is one massive multi-tasking event.

The fighter pilot must fly the aircraft at the edge of its envelope while simultaneously:

  • -Talk on two radios (and inter-com if a two seater).
  • -Maintain aircraft position in relation to his wing-man.
  • -Fight the enemy.
  • -Evaluate weapons perimeters of his aircraft and the enemies.
  • -Operate radar.
  • -Respond to aural warnings from electronics and wing-men as well as controllers.
  • -Evaluate the “big picture” as it continually evolves.
  • -Respond to visual threats.
  • -Keep the aircraft at an airspeed and altitude that allows it to fight.
  • -Project where the fight/threat will be in near and far term.
  • -Put his weapons on the target on time.
  • -And the hard part; egress without being shot down.

The above video is a division of F-16s engaged against Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) in Iraq circa 1991. Two of the four aircraft were shot down. The heads Up Display (HUD) footage is from one of the aircraft that made it out. He dodged six SAMs. Notice how the aircraft never stops maneuvering; even when all the multi-tasking is occurring.

Below is a video with com of a Greek F-16 engaging (ironically) a Turkish F-16. I picked it so that the communication (which is sub-titled) can be easily understood. In it you can clearly see how the lead pilot, while engaged in a dog fight, was controlling his wing-man and giving direction for the big picture and egress. Again while engaged in a high g dog fight.

The brain doesn’t multi-task? Sorry Professor Levitin, I call bull sh*t!

In my books I write about multi-tasking: the long and short of it is; if a pilot can not multi-task, he/she will not be around very long especially in combat.

leland

 

 

 

 

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Amazon count down deals! Vengeance and Endgame for a deep discount!

The Amazon count down deal is on for Vengeance and Endgame, get a deeply discounted copy now.

leland

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Example of why, it is so hard to trust mainstream media

f18 prowler

 

I suppose it is the same for any profession; you read or watch what the main stream press writes about your area of expertise and just roll your eyes. Sometimes it is so bad you just have to laugh. The above photo and caption came from the New York Times front page today. First; no it is not an F/A-18C Hornet. Not even close; it is an EA-6B Prowler. The on-line article has now been changed to “an American jet”. Amazing; the New York Times has no one that can identify a carrier based jet (EA-6B Prowler) that has been in continuous operation since the mid seventies. They just gave up; “an American jet”. What a forward leaning research department (insert sarcastic roll of eyes here).

Granted I have flown both aircraft so I had a rather large advantage; but come on, the EA-6B is a four man Electronic Warfare jet. The Hornet (Same airplane the Blue Angels fly BTW) is a small single seat Fighter/Attack aircraft. I did a simple search (air wing uss bush), CAG 8 popped right up, as well as a picture of an EA-6B Prowler further down the page. I clicked on the Carrier Air Wing Eight link, a list of squadrons and their aircraft is very apparent. A second click on the F/A-18 would quickly clue in anyone that the picture was not a Hornet. Moving down the list with in two more clicks you would find a picture of the EA-6B Prowler. How easy is that, total time less than two minutes.

Here is a picture of an F/A-18 Hornet:

f-18

 

Here is an EA-6B Prowler:

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Does it really matter? I would submit it does, because if you can’t get the easy details correct, how can we possibly trust the rest of the story? And if this is an example of the research ability of The New York Times; can you trust anything they print?

leland

BTW: The aircraft in the NYT picture; on deck, left in frame, is a Hornet.

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