Friday, 11 May 2012

11 May 1982 - Practice

Logbook entry:  ESM ECM  .30 minutes
                         ECM station keeping and HC Training 1.00 hour

So we get stuck in today with two sorties.  The first to get check out the jammer with the ship and then have a look see around the fleet with the Orange crop to familiarise ourselves with their various radars.  I will talk more about who were in company with in another post.
Then we spend an hour, firstly practising actually using the jammer under ship control and then giving our new Helicopter Controller the chance to practice, primarily using the ships radar to guide us back to the flight deck.  We tried several techniques culminating in a PVA (Poor Visibility Approach).  This is technically an emergency procedure to be used when the ship has entered fog and should never be planned to be used.  The idea is the controller brings you in very low (50 feet) behind the ship.  The ship mismatches her propeller speed to 'foam the wake' ie to make the wake as visible as possible, she also throws smoke and flame floats into the wake.  The idea is to creep up behind the ship and hopefully spot something in the water before you fly into it the ships stern!  An interesting technique that is quite scary the first time you try it for real.  By the end of the war it was almost common place - there was a lot of fog down south.

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