2. Ensures that the appropriate jet blast deflectors
are raised and that all personnel are clear of the aircraft,
jet blast, and prop wash.
The launching officer signals for FINAL TURNUPS
by lighting the military power (GREEN) light and the
combat power (AMBER) light, if applicable, in that
order. The pilot shall apply FULL POWER and
AFTERBURNER, if applicable, as these lights are
illuminated. When the pilot is ready for launch, he or
she signifies by saluting the catapult safety observer or,
at night, by turning the navigation lights on STEADY.
The pilot ensures that no exterior lights are on before
the military power/combat power (afterburner launch)
lights are illuminated.
The catapult safety observer, after observing
pilots READY TO LAUNCH signal performs
1. Makes a final scan of the aircraft.
2. Checks the aircraft stabilizer for proper
3. Checks for a THUMBS UP signal from the
catapult hookup petty officer and the squadrons aircraft
4. Signals THUMBS UP to the launching
officer in the ICCS with a hand or GREEN wand signal
if all conditions are satisfactory for the launch.
Upon receiving the catapult safety observers
THUMBS UP signal and before firing the catapult,
the launching officer performs the following:
1. Checks for a Pri-Fly GO Light on his or her
2. Scans the normal area of visibility.
3. Checks the catapult officer
satisfactory catapult launch condition.
4. Checks deck and traffic forward.
5. Checks deck pitch.
6. Ensures the catapult
the THUMBS UP signal.
safety observer is giving
After ensuring that all conditions are satisfactory,
the launching officer depresses the FIRE button. If,
after coming to FULL POWER on the catapult, the
pilot desires to stop the launch, he or she does so by
shaking the head negatively, rather than by giving the
THUMBS DOWN signal. At the same time, the pilot
transmits SUSPEND, SUSPEND. At night, the visual
signal also consists of not turning on the navigation
lights. The catapult safety observer signals SUSPEND
to the launching officer in the ICCS, using standard
hand or wand signals.
If, for any reason, a launch is suspended, the
officer SUSPENDS the catapult by
depressing the SUSPEND push button on the catapult
officer console. Depressing this push button also
activates the red flashing SUSPEND deck lights. After
an aircraft has been turned up for launching, the signal
to THROTTLE BACK is given to the pilot by the
catapult safety observer. This signal must not be given
until it has been positively determined that the catapult
shuttle is forward of the launch bar except in an
EMERGENCY condition. An EMERGENCY condition
exists if the launch bar cannot be raised without sending
personnel under the turned up aircraft. When this
occurs, the catapult safety observer must positively
determine that the catapult is in a SAFE condition
before giving the THROTTLE BACK signal. In all
cases, the pilot must not THROTTLE BACK until the
catapult safety observer steps in front of the aircraft and
gives the THROTTLE BACK signal.
There are certain safety precautions that must be
observed by catapult-operating personnel, maintenance
personnel, deck personnel, pilots of aircraft, and other
personnel stationed in the catapult area.
FLIGHT DECK. Bridle (deck) tensioner
pressure, as determined by calibration, must be
precisely adjusted and maintained at all times. Pressures
in excess of those specified may cause premature
holdback or trailbar release.
In the event of a malfunction, suspend, or hangfire,
the signal for POWER-OFF must NOT be given to the
pilot until bridle tension has been released and the
launch bar is raised.
When attaching the aircraft to the shuttle, extreme
care must be taken so that the launch bar properly
engages the shuttle. The catapult officer must ensure
that the aircraft is properly tensioned prior to launching.