Sometimes, it is necessary to delay a recovery because of a foul deck, or an excessive
number of aircraft bolter or wave off. In these types of situations, the CCA Officer shall
issue via marshal control a signal Delta.
During Case I flight operations, PriFly gives the Delta signal to recovering aircraft when
necessary. During Case II or III flight operations, CATCC issues Delta signals as
The Delta signal consists of the word Delta and a number suffix indicating the number of
minutes that the recovery is expected to be delayed. Delta delays are always given in
even numbers and never given for less than four minutes. For example, if a 6-minute
delay is necessary, the marshal controller would issue a Delta Six.
An aircraft's position at the time a Delta is issued determines what actions a pilot will
Aircraft in the marshal pattern remain in the holding pattern and await the
assignment of a new EAT.
Aircraft that have already commenced an approach but are above 7,000 feet
level off at the next lower odd altitude and hold on the inbound bearing at a range
in nm equal to the holding altitude in thousands of feet plus 15 (angels + 15). The
aircraft hold by using a 6-minute racetrack pattern and await assignment of a
new EAT. Aircraft that have re-entered holding at the next odd altitude must
report when they are established in holding with the new altitude.
Aircraft that have already commenced an approach but are at or below 7,000 feet
continue the approach and await further instructions.
All aircraft are required to acknowledge the receipt of new EATs.
In many cases, aircraft on or returning from a mission require additional fuel to return
and land safely on a carrier. Also, having sufficient fuel becomes critical when the only
available landing area is the ship itself because a suitable land base is outside the flying
range of an aircraft. The departure Controller will be actively involved in tanker
operations and monitoring fuel states.