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Air Boss: Officer in charge of all flight deck and tower operations within 5 nautical miles of the ship. Located in Pri-Fly.
Angels: Altitude in thousands of feet. For example, Angels 3 = 3,000 feet.
Axial Winds: Winds down the longitudinal axis of the ship created by the ship’s forward movement. This causes a right-to-left crosswind across the angled deck.
Ball: Light projected by source lens on the IFLOLS. Also referred to as “Meatball”.
Bingo Fuel: Aircraft fuel state in sufficient quantity necessary to fly to the bingo airfield or carrier with X lbs. remaining, depending on aircraft type.
Bolter: A touchdown on the carrier in which the arresting hook does not engage the arresting wires.
BRC: Base recovery course, which is the ship’s magnetic course.
Buster: Proceed at maximum airspeed.
Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC): The centralized department responsible for the status-keeping of all carrier air operations and control of all airborne aircraft involved in launch and recovery.
Carrier Control Zone (CCZ): The airspace within a circular limit defined by a 5 mile radius around the ship surface up to and including 2,500 feet under the control of the Air Boss during visual; flight rules conditions.
Case I: Refers to departure/recovery procedures and landing patterns conducted in visual conditions when greater than 3,000-foot ceiling and 5 nautical mile visibility exists within the carrier control zone. Case I recoveries will marshal overhead the ship and enter the pattern via the break.
Case II: Case II recovery occurs during daylight hours when conditions may be poor on the approach but adequate for landing under visual flight rules. The cloud ceiling must be above 1,000 feet and visibility more than 5 nm. Case II recovery is a controlled descent to the break and the pattern. It is used when a visual penetration cannot be made. The approach may be via radar vectors or a TACAN or ADF approach. In no case will more than a section of two aircraft execute a Case II recovery. Case II departure is a procedure used to climb through instrument conditions to visual conditions.
Case III: Used for weather less than 1,000/5, or at night.
CCA: Carrier-controlled approach.
Charlie: Refers to the time the first aircraft is expected at the ramp. A “Charlie” call is a directive to enter the landing pattern.
Chicks: Wingmen in a flight.
Clara: Meatball is not in sight.
Clearing Turn: Associated with a Case I or II departure. Immediately after launch, aircraft from bow cats initiate a right turn then a turn to parallel the BRC. Aircraft launched from the waist cats initiate a left turn then a turn to parallel the BRC. The purpose of these turns is to provide aircraft lateral separation on multiple launches from the carrier.
Cross-Deck Pendant (CDP): Arresting gear wire.
Cut Lights: Green lights mounted horizontally and centered above the IFLOLS lens box and are controlled by the LSO. Utilized during Zip Lip and EMCON conditions instead of UHF to give pilots clearance to land, i.e., “Roger Ball.” Subsequent cut lights mean “power.” Also, used in conjunction with waveoff lights to signal bingo.
Datum Lights: Green reference lights mounted horizontally on the IFLOLS, seen on each side of the centered cell.
Departure Reference Radial (DRR): Preassigned radial usually passed during the brief or as standard operating procedure.
Emission Control Procedures (EMCON): Electronic emission control procedures are in effect at the ship to avoid detection. All radio, radar, and navigation equipment transmissions are eliminated except as required for safety of flight.
Expected Approach Time (EAT): The future time at which an aircraft is cleared to depart inbound or penetrate from a pre-assigned fix. Aircraft depart and commence approach at assigned time if no further instructions are received.
Father: Code name for the ship’s TACAN.
Feet Wet or Feet Dry: Aircraft crossing the coastline enroute to or returning from the ship.
Final Bearing (FB): The magnetic bearing assigned by CATCC for final approach (an extension of the landing area centerline); usually BRC minus the landing area angle of 10°.
Foul Deck: Landing area is not free of all obstructions or the flight deck is not ready to recover aircraft.
Foul Line: A line painted on both sides of the landing area to define the minimum area that must be free of obstructions in order to consider the deck clear.
Hangar Deck: Area below the flight deck used to store and repair aircraft.
Holdback: Metal fitting designed to break or release at a preset level of force during a catapult stroke.
Hook to Eye: The vertical distance measured between the pilot’s eye and the aircraft’s hook.
Hook to Ramp: The clearance distance between the aircraft’s hook point and the flight deck as it crosses the ramp.
Improved Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System (IFLOLS): Pilot’s landing aid, i.e., meatball.
Interval: The time between you and the aircraft you are to follow.
In the Middle Position: A distance on the groove that is between the “start” and the “in close” position. The middle-third of the groove.
Jet Blast Deflector (JBD): Hydraulically lifted deck plate mounted behind each catapult.
Landing Signals Officer (LSO). Controls all fixed-wing aircraft on final approach, or ‘in the groove’ during carrier landings.
Launch Bar: Metal arm attached to the nose gear and used to launch the aircraft.
Mark your Father: State bearing and distance from ship.
Marshal: Holding pattern during Case I, II, and III recoveries. Also the term used for the ship’s radar controller.
Mother: Code name used to signify the carrier.
Overhead Time: The scheduled time a flight of aircraft is expected overhead the ship for pattern entry.
Paddles: The call sign for the LSO.
Pilot Landing Assistance Television (PLAT): Video camera system used to record carrier operations.
Plane Guard: SAR helicopter or ship assigned during aircraft launch and recovery, usually located in starboard Delta for a helicopter, three miles astern for a ship.
Platform: A reporting point in the ship’s TACAN approach (normally at 20 NM from the ship at 5,000 feet) at which the rate of descent is decreased to 2,000 feet per minute.
Popeye: Code word used to signify that aircraft is operating on instruments in poor weather or low visibility.
Pri-Fly: Tower location where the Air Boss oversees the pattern and flight deck operations.
Pull Back: Action following arrestment whereby the wire is partially retracted to allow the pilot to raise the tailhook.
Push Back: Action taken anytime the aircraft needs to be moved back by deck personnel.
Ramp: The aft end of the flight deck.
Roger Ball: The call made by the LSO that indicates you are cleared to land and the LSO has positive control (call made less than a mile prior to landing).
Roll Angle: Movement of the lens about the roll axis (set for each type of aircraft) to maintain a constant targeted hook touchdown point.
RTB: Signal to return to base.
See You: Communication used to indicate that flight lead has the ship in sight.
Shuttle: The portion of the catapult that attaches to the launch bar during catapult launches.
Starboard Delta: Holding pattern used by the helicopters and COD aircraft flown on the starboard side of the ship and using right-hand turns at 500 feet.
Start: The first-third of the groove length.
Suspend: Stop the catapult launch sequence.
Sweet Lock: Positive TACAN lock-on.
Tension: The portion of the catapult launch sequence when the shuttle is hydraulically moved forward to remove slack.
Tiedown: Chocks and chains used to secure aircraft on the flight deck.
Zip Lip: Condition in which radio communications are minimized.

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The Eagle Dynamics SA team