Whareagle's Wednesday Night AAR Report for 2019.02.27

I swore I wouldn’t return to the embarrassment of performance that was last week’s Wednesday Night Mission, but I have to report that while not quite as bad (I actually landed without boltering, then promptly taxied off the right side of the carrier), I still have a LOONG way to go to achieve some degree of competency.

As a coach in my career, I always make a point to emphasize what a client “did right” in a post-event review, whether it’s on the trail, on the road, or, in some cases, when they awaken from a a cardiac infarc requiring an AED. There can be a littany of coaching gripes and observations, but giving the athlete THAT ONE NUGGET of positive review can make or break retention, improvement, and resolve.

So - yeah - I landed on a carrier deck at night, TRYING to follow Case III protocols.

BUT THERE’S A LITANY of crap I need to get through before I show any signs of competency and confidence. To whit:

  • I spawned on the wrong carrier at the beginning (I swear I read the Briefing, and when I zoomed in on the map after spawn, it was right there - “Stennis” - but obviously I didn’t zoom in ENOUGH to realize my mistake.

  • Radios - Thanks to @fridge and @Gunnyhighway, and then, of course, DungeonMaster @near_blind for their help with the radios. I know, I know - SimpleRadio vs Discord, button mapping, etc. To be honest - this has been my bane ever since I took flying lessons in the 80’s. It’s why I ended up in sailplanes and got my glider’s license… it didn’t require radios (at that time). Once I ‘got’ Radio 1, I think I was able to communicate with the Squadron using PTT, but when I switched over to ‘Radio 2’ and tried to call in my landing requests, nothing. I’m sure I screwed someone else’s landing pattern up, but I have no idea.

  • Trim on Takeoff. I set it to 12 degrees, then forgot - heavy load, 3 bags plus missiles? Try 17. Ugh.

  • I must have forgotten some procedure in startup for the navigation. For the life of me, I couldn’t get ‘sequence’, ‘hud’, or ‘waypoint’ to work. I set the INS properly during startup, watched the countdown timer and everything, but for the life of me, I couldn’t get the Nav to work for over half the mission. This required me to work like hell to try and stay on @near_blind’s tail or wing, and I even screwed THAT up!

I was behind and too slow, and when I caught up, I was rolling above and past. Then I was out too far as I attempted to get the damned nav working, and almost triggered a couple of the SAM’s. Then I was 5 or 6 miles behind everyone, and hit 450kts trying to catch up, but I was at the wrong altitude. So I sped ahead. And missed the squadron completely.

  • I DID use the night goggles a ton, and that was completely worth it. It DID help me at least see @near_blind and @Gunnyhighway at times, but I caught no sight of @Fridge the whole mission, except at the end after I’d respawned on the carrier to watch everyone else come in.

I’m running out of time, but my takeaways leave me wondering if maybe I couldn’t build a simple mission at sunset, set four waypoints with gates included, follow those cues, and then attempt several intentional bolters with the arresting hook up, as the sun set and the night landing requirements rose.

As always, thanks to the guiding hand of everyone, and I’m always stoked to climb back into the cockpit and practice (4 hours last Sunday, will probably go again tonight), and it’s the community that remains so great. I’m getting used to Discord, and I’ll keep working on the radios off-list.

Lots to learn - glad I have such great instructors and online buddies to help.
I uploaded the entire video of the mission here: I’ll edit it later…

Won’t be in for next Wednesday (my wife is in town), but I’ll rejoin y’all in two weeks.



Just so you don’t feel like you are the only one dealing with the night issues, I also had my fair share of messing up :slight_smile:

On the good points of my mission execution:

  • I was able to rejoin on the main group at WP#1 and follow the ELINT asset to provide escort;
  • I was able to get most of my systems into shape before I got there as well;
  • I was able to RTB to the carrier and get on the deck after a bolter (floated over the wires (so I was low on the ball and as I corrected, I floated over));

What I didn’t do so good:

  • Was not an effective element lead as I lost sight of Gunny shortly after takeoff and couldn’t rejoin before WP#1 (though technically he should have rejoined on me :slight_smile: );
  • I was behind the group up to WP#1 and did not rejoin effectively with my lead;
  • I was ‘eyes in the cockpit’ too much trying to get all my instruments in a nice cooperative pile and that left me out of position, lagging behind and surging past the group after we passed WP#1;
  • I was behind on my radar scans and my SA after WP#1 and I am pretty certain that I would not have been ‘weapons effective’ if the ELINT asset had not experienced a fault that aborted the mission;

But that is what I expected, really. If you are marginally competent in the systems work and SA during the day time (which is where I think I am), then night time is going to point out all of your weaknesses and deficiencies :slight_smile:. It throws just enough chaos at you to put you off of all of your systems and makes everything challenging.

I recommend setting up a night mission with just you, the carrier and a tanker. Set a few waypoints for you to follow and then have the tanker in a racetrack position at one of them. Rejoin on the tanker in the night and give yourself some stress returning to the deck :-). I squeezed in a mission night before last (but didn’t have the ICLS set up correctly) but once is not enough to get practised in dealing with the systems at night.

I will be around Sunday night if anyone wants to go through some stuff (maybe even just formation rejoining). I will try to have a server available.


After the SA page is updated,these kind of missions will be much easier and safer. I lol’d when the EW bird took an evasive action nose dive out of nowhere. Yup I’m just gonna stay up here.

Welcome to my life. :laughing:

I wouldn’t sweat that. In the RW there are more than a few instances of a pilot landing on the wrong carrier.

No no! We don’t say “didn’t do so good”. The official Navy terms for this are “Goods and Others” … the word “didn’t” is way too negative.

(really…we were a much kinder, gentler Navy when I retired)


Oh yeah. About that. At that point in the evening we were messing around on @near_blind’s server with a training mission - one he designed to allow us to mess around with stuff and maybe learn some things. You didn’t spawn on the ‘wrong’ one, just the ‘other’ one to the west. :slight_smile: