The Story of a Carrier Pilot
Shot primarily aboard the USS Ranger, this film takes us through the carrier training and qualifications of a US Navy carrier F-4H Phantom II pilot, Lt. Donald Watkins, with VF-96 from 11 August 1961 through 8 March 1962. VF-96 is also known as the Fighting Falcons. Navy pilot Pete Conrad was a part of VF-96 when NASA selected him to be an astronaut.
Other aviation units operating on the USS Ranger at that time included: VF-92 (F-4B), VF-96 (F-4B), VA-93 (A-4C), VA-95 (A-1J and A-1H), VA-94 (A-4C), RVAH-5 (RA-5C), VFP-63 Det M (RF-8A), VAW-11 Det M (E-1B), VAH-2 Det M (A-3B), HU-1 Unit M (UH-2A), VAP-61 Det (RA-3B), VQ-1 Det (EA-3B)
Portions of the film are shot at Miramar Naval Air Station outside of San Diego.
F-4 602 S/N 9407, 603, 610 S/N 8431, 605 A-4 Skyhawk 308, 412, 305, 306, 304, 402, 301, 307 S/N 7723 A-3 Skywarrior 2, 3, 5, 6 F8U Crusader 336, 104, 917 AD Skyraider 721, 502, 712, S/N 35376, 608, 511, 505, 507, 501 E-1 Tracer 747
We follow Lt. Watkins as a nugget as he calls on his commanding officer, Cmdr O’Rourke, and his wife Harriet at home. We meet Commander Davidson. After seven months of training, we join the ‘dining in’ ceremony.
Latter on the ship, Watkins gets prepared for his initial carrier qualifications. Again, we see the entire process. In the next ten days, Don Watkins becomes fully qualified as a carrier pilot.
T-28 Carrier Landing Procedures
This Navy training film gives us great views and insight into the basics of carrier operations, landing patterns, and procedures. In addition, of course, we all get some fantastic views of the T-28 Trojan.
The entire landing and launching process is fully explained. Important milestones are explained. These include Delta-1, Delta-2, and Foxtrot Corpen.
Great in-flight footage from the T-28 in formation, close to, and landing aboard the aircraft carrier CV-16, USS Lexington Close views of T-28 25 737 S/N 140458 with VT-5
Angled Deck Aircraft Carrier
This orientation film of the angled deck carrier helps to show the variations of carriers, purposes of the angled deck, and operational procedures. We also see deck crashes, mistakes, screw-ups, and errors.
Rigging the barricades for different aircraft is covered as well. We see a Grumman F9F Panther 217A crash through a barricade and collide with deck-parked aircraft. We see a fiery crash of an F9F Panther into parked aircraft.
The film focuses on ASW and AEW patrols and aircraft.
Aircraft shown in carrier operations in this film include the F7U Cutlass, F9F Panther, Grumman S-2 Tracker S/N 133104, FJ3 Fury, and F2H Banshee Aircraft carriers shown include the USS Antietam (CVA-36), USS Valley Forge (CVA-45), and the layouts of the CVA-34 USS Oriskany, CVB-41 USS Midway and CVA-59 USS Forestal class carriers are shown.
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