Interesting image shows F/A-18E Super Hornet about to land on carrier with afterburner lit

Oct 16 2013 - 13 Comments

The image in this post is interesting for at least two reasons.

First it shows an F/A-18E preparing to land on USS Nimitz (CVN 68) sailing in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibilty from an unsual point of view: the one of an accompanying warship of the Nimitz Carrier Battle Group.

Second, the Super Hornet is depicted with the afterburner lit, most probably because the pilot is either in the process of adding more power to keep the proper glide path or about to execute a missed approach (“wave off”).

Image credit: U.S. Navy

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  • Sir Arthur Dayne

    looking at the dark stripes on the LERX, it seems more like a legacy hornet to me

  • Ziya

    Hook down, afterburner on. Missed approach (or missed apr. training) most probably. Thanks for sharing…

  • Jacek Siminski

    I think it is usual for the pilots to use full afterburner on an approach to the carrier due to the potential wave-off..

  • Seems like a go around.

  • VFA41_Lion

    The Hornet is the background image, not the foreground. It’s probably already going-around.

    • I don’t think so, the hot exhaust looks nearer than the carrier. The photo was taken from far away.

  • blitzkrieg

    “Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.”

  • FoilHatWearer

    Looks to me like he’s 1) Taking off, or 2) Got waved-off and is going around. You can’t tell the depth in this shot, so you can’t see where he is in relation to the length of the carrier. That makes it impossible to see what he’s really doing.

  • phuzz

    Given that the aircraft in the air is about the same size as the aircraft visible on the deck (look at the height of the fins, and of the engine exhausts), so it’s somewhere above the rear of the carrier.

  • photo expert

    WAVE OFF why? the smoke from the jet is before to control tower which is blurring the tower anttenas

  • jm

    The glideslope should put an aircraft at about 14 feet above the rear edge of the deck when it crosses and afterburner is used at the final second before touchdown. This is obviously way too high for both, so yeah, it’s been waved off and hit the burner and it’s glideslope has leveled off or it’s gaining altitude for a go-around.

  • Shannon Hensley

    Its an 18 its so underpowered it needs ab just to stay in the air

  • Camilo Moreno

    Saying that afterburner can be used to correct the approach is not reasonable since the approach speed for the Super Hornet is around 140-150 knots … Imagine the jump in speed for such a push in the throttle. A pilot only uses the AB after touching the deck and yes if there is a foul deck or a wave off (Not absolutely necessary in this one, though)