Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I am among selected few lucky guests who were invited abroad this gigantic war machine
Note the machine gun at the left, a warning to uninvited guests...
Lesson : Don't mess with the Americans
Imagine being on an aircraft that accelerates from zero to 165 knots in two seconds when taking off.
A group of local leaders and journalists from Sabah, East Malaysia, had this rare experience on- board a C21 utility aircraft that took them to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, 926km from here over the weekend.
The landings and takeoffs, which saw acceleration peaking at 4Gs, were enough to jolt and blow one's senses.
Weighing 97,000 tonnes, the USS John C. Stennis is one of the largest aircraft carriers in the world. It is more than 333m long and 20 stories tall.
Crewed by more than 5,500 personnel, it is capable of handling 90 aircraft, including the C21. The USS John C. Stennis is nuclear-powered and its mission is to conduct sustained air operations.
While onboard, the visitors, including state Legislative Assembly speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said and First Division Army Commander Major General Datuk Mohd Zaki Mokthar, witnessed flight operations, which included catapult launches and arrested landings or "traps".
Commanding officer Captain Ronald Reis said an aircraft landed on deck at full throttle. There were four arresting wires to stop a landing aircraft. This happened when the aircraft's tailhook caught one of the arresting wires.
He said a catapult was used to launch an aircraft at full power during takeoff.
Aircraft operating from the USS John C. Stennis included F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F/A-18C Hornet, E-2C Hawkeye and the EA-6B Prowler.
The visit was arranged by the United States Embassy as a prelude to the aircraft carrier's three-day port call in Kota Kinabalu, beginning Sunday, 30th September 2012.
Don't mess with the Americans..