I'm just wondering about communication between control tower / LSO / pilot on a carrier approach landing. I have no idea of this process and just looking to gain some insight. I'm playing a flight sim type game and when lining up on glideslope for a carrier landing the CV Marshall says "Mother is case 1, expect CV-1 approach." I think I have a basic idea of how glideslope / meatball works. I'm wondering what this lingo means.
First off, Case I is day VFR (in terms of CV NATOPS mins), so they wouldn't be using the CV-1 approach in that situation. CV-1 approach is the bread and butter approach used for case III or case II (in that case, just a controlled descent to get under the weather and into the carrier break). It's like any other high tacan approach, though it includes holding in the marshall stack, which I will talk about in a second. Anyway, now that that is cleared up.....
The pilot eventually responds something like "One zero seven, approach final bearing 174, flying two niner zero" (approximately) I would like to know the details behind what instruments they are reading and relaying to the people on deck. What is an example of what a pilot would say when coming in for landing and what it means? I would love to know in the game what the heck they're talking about, I'm assuming they must be reading off numbers on cockpit instruments or HUD but it all sounds Greek to me. Have tried dozens of google searches on this and found nothing.
thanks in advance
Decoding that comm, he is saying jet side number, final bearing (the inbound course to the boat), and I'm not sure what the 290 reference is, aside from heading. The standard check in on marshall freq (similar to civilian center control) would be "side number, marking mom's xxx (radial), for xx (dme), angels xx (thousands of feet altitude), fuel state (in thousands of lbs)". So whatever the game is saying is not really what we say in the real world.....but close anyway. For an example, lets say you check in "204, marking moms 270 for 40, angels 18, 10.3". Marshall would read back something like "204, case III, CV-1 approach, altimeter 29.89, marshall mom's 150 (radial), angels 9, expected approach time 20 (minutes after the hour), approach button 15 (preset frequency channel)". You would read back that information, descend to your holding altitude of 9000 ft, proceed to the holding fix of 9 (altitude in thousands of feet) +15, ie 24 dme on the 150 radial. Left hand turns, endeavoring to arrive at 24 dme inbound at 20 minutes after the hour. From there, you call "204 commencing, fuel state, 29.89". 250 kt idle descent at 4000 fpm with speedbrake out. Passing 5000 ft, speedbrake comes in, and slow your descent to 250 kts and 2000 feet per minute. Call "204 platform, fuel state". They will switch you to approach control, and you check in "approach, 204, 18 miles (or whatever you are at), fuel state". You will descend all the way down to 1200 ft, 250 kts, correcting inbound to intercept the final bearing on the tacan. Final bearing is just the course to fly to be tracking inbound on course to the landing area of the boat. You level off at 1200 ft, gear and flaps come down at 8-10 nm, on speed by 6 nm, and you will probably get a "x miles, ACLS lock-on, call your needles" call. Respond by saying where the ACLS dot is in your hud (ie "up and left/right/on"). They will concur with that if they see the same thing, and tell you "fly mode 1/2". Mode 1 is a coupled approach that uses the ACLS datalink to automatically fly your jet down to touchdown. Not commonly used, but available. Mode 2 most likely, where you manually fly the jet, and just use the ACLS indicator as your guidance for the approach. You will start your descent around 3 nm, 750-ish feet per minute, intercepting the 3 deg glideslope. At 3/4 of a mile, paddles (the LSO) will contact you "204, 3/4 of a mile, call the ball". If you see the meatball, your call would be "204, Hornet Ball, fuel state, pilot last name". From there, you fly the ball, with paddles helping you out if you need it.
That's about all the comm that you could expect to hear on the approach. Hope that helps!