Flying to/from an aircraft carrier with a C-2 Greyhound

After my recent visit on board the USS Nimitz, many readers of this site asked me to describe a flight on the C-2 Greyhound COD (Carrier On-board Delivery) and in particular the trap landing on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. I thought that the best way to describe the flight was through some pictures I took with a small Powershot camera I had inside my cargo pants.

As you can see from the pictures I took during my 3 hours flight from Manama, all the passengers were required to wear the life jackets, the “cranials” and seat backward! Dealing with the trap landing, the video is self-explaining: everything happens very fast and the strong deceleration make you feel like you are laying on a floor looking at the roof!

In my opinion, departing from an aircraft carrier with a catapult launch is even more exciting than arriving. Unfortunately I have no video available to show you this experience. It would have been almost impossible for me to keep the camera in my hands as the acceleration of the C-2 Greyhound being catapulted off the flight deck, reaching 150 miles per hour in 3 seconds, is unbelievable. Opposite to what I felt when we landed, I felt like I was hanging inside a wind tunnel looking towards a floor (that was actually the seat in front of me) with my arms and legs pointing at it. The following pictures were taken during the return flight. I was lucky enough to get a seat next to one of the two small windows even during this flight that gave me the chance to see Dubai from above.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Hmmmm That vtop picture sure looks like the one I took in Bahrain and is posted on Cybermodeler when I was the LCPO of the Det you flew out in? Credit for the picture maybe?

    • I suggest you to better check it again. I don’t have a clue which picture you have posted to Cybermodeler, but the one posted on my blog was taken by me with a Canon Powershot A580 before boarding my flight to the USS Nimitz. The original file is named IMG_1469.jpg is a 3264×2448 pixel with EXIF data still visible if you wanna check. All the other images and the video too were taken with the same camera.

  2. After checking I owe an apology. I have a near exact frame on my pictures, and have posted it and others on other sites, I thought it was in the cybermodeler batch. Didn’t want to start a pissing contest, but I have found several of my pictures on other sites, and it is very close. Should have checked mine before, hope your flight was great, 30 was not always our best plane! I suppose I should safeguard the ones I post, but I want model builders to be able to use them. Anyway, Once again my apologies.

Comments are closed.