Lt. Melony Lynch

Pilot : Aircraft unconfirmed

Learning the Hard Way

By Lt. Melony Lynch

A couple of weeks before an Operation Southern Watch mission, a CAG staff pilot stopped by our ready room to discuss an incident he had regarding bad AOA information and incorrect on-speed indications. The incident occurred during his carrier approach and was caused by a basket slap. I listened intently and thought I would throw his lessons learned into my Hornet bag of tricks. Unfortunately, I repeated the same mistakes he had made.

I was wingman for a night HVAAP mission in support of a strike into Iraq.

My loadout of two sidewinders, one HARM, and one AMRAAM, would not allow me to come aboard with much more fuel than our required tank state of 3,500 pounds-to be at max trap on the ball. According to my calculations, I would have 800 pounds over tank state on the ball. Shortly after my launch, I lost my primary fuel and engine-instrument displays. I was able to get the needed information though, by referencing the correct DDI display.

Our mission ultimately was cancelled, so I returned to the marshal stack for the night recovery. ...more

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