Truman Thursdays: How to Launch a Fighter Jet

Posted 03.25.2010

It’s been almost two months since my overnight visit to the USS Harry S Truman. Since then, I’ve posted video clips on Thursdays that feature some of the leaders of the ship and offer a look at life on board an aircraft carrier. Based on the stats from You Tube, the three most popular posts in the series so far have been:

There are other great clips that you can find on the Next Level Blog by entering “Harry S Truman” in the search box.

In this next to last week of  the Truman Thursdays series, you’ll get an up and front and personal view (from around 20 feet away) of what’s involved with launching a fighter jet from the deck. I shot this clip about an hour after we arrived on board and, surrounded by safety crew members, were escorted out onto the flight deck.  Our group was positioned between the two catapults on the bow of the ship.

In this three minute video, you’ll see an EA-6B Prowler lower its wings and then move into position to be locked into the catapult. After some safety and system checks, the jet goes from 0 to 150 knots in under 3 seconds as the cat launches it from the deck. It’s a pretty amazing experience to be standing so close to that much power and energy. I hope the video will give you a sense of what it’s like.