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Post Pump and Dump on the "USS Constellation"
Created by John Eipper on 02/25/19 11:04 AM

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Pump and Dump on the "USS Constellation" (Michael Sullivan, USA, 02/25/19 11:04 am)

I can remember many years ago in 1982, which is the last time I operated off an aircraft carrier at night, that after flight ops had concluded the ship's 1MC would come on and announce, "Constellation now commencing pump and dump operations."

I believe the US Navy regulations then were they had to be 50 nautical miles at sea to conduct pump and dump ops.  The effluent and garbage pumped and dumped in those days had no treatment to my knowledge, but I'm sure regulations today require sophisticated machinery aboard US Navy ships to treat all the various waste products properly before disposing of them at sea.

JE comments:  The Constellation (aircraft carrier) was scrapped in Brownsville, Texas, a few years back.  Michael, this must be a very painful moment for someone who served aboard.  It's a shame these ships cannot be preserved as floating museums.  The obstacle, of course, is cost.

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  • Aircraft Carriers I Served On (Michael Sullivan, USA 02/26/19 5:30 AM)
    I flew from six different carriers during my career. In 1956 I started out qualifying on the Saipan CVL-28, a WWII jeep carrier, for my first carrier landings as a Naval Aviation Cadet and we were flying WWII prop-type aircraft. My next carrier and on future carriers I was flying F-4 Phantoms aboard the FDR CV-42 and it was a Midway-class carrier.  Then three Forrestal carriers:  Forrestal CV-59, Independence CV-62 and Ranger CV-61. I ended up on the Constellation CV-64 which is a Kitty Hawk-class carrier. After that most every carrier built was nuclear powered and designated CVN.

    I started out with deck-launched, normal take-offs in props, then moved on to hydraulic catapults on FDR, and then Forrestal and Kitty Hawk carriers had steam catapults. Today our newest carrier, USS Gerald Ford, has an electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) and is considered a super carrier with all the latest technology and has been designated the new Ford-class carrier. My last carrier was the Constellation CV-64 (now decommissioned as all the carriers I flew from are) and now the Ford is CVN-78 and I understand they're going to build two more CVNs. There are currently 11 aircraft carriers in service/active duty with the US Navy, but a few are in dry dock a year to two out of service plus others go in for modifications.  The newest carriers are still doing sea trials.

    It doesn't bother me to see the older carriers scrapped or made into reefs as it's like an old car.  As soon as you get a newer model you immediately begin to like it and enjoy its new technologies, overall newness and smoother handling.

    We do have five decommissioned aircraft carriers as floating museums. They are Yorktown CV-10 Charleston, SC, Intrepid CV-11 NYC, Hornet CV-12 Alameda, CA, Lexington CV-16 Corpus Christie, TX and Midway CV-41, San Diego.  The problem is many cities would like an aircraft carrier as a museum to draw tourists and enhance the harbor area but their harbors are too shallow to be able to accept a carrier with such deep draft requirements.

    JE comments:  Michael, I should stop pestering you with questions, but every post you send makes me want more.  Can you share with us earthlings the feeling of being launched (hydraulically, electromagnetically, or "steamually") from a carrier platform?  I can imagine nothing beyond "whoosh" and "Holy Crap!"

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    • Ever Been Shot Out of a Cannon? Try an Aircraft Carrier (Michael Sullivan, USA 03/01/19 7:29 AM)
      John E asked me to describe the sensation of being launched from an aircraft carrier.

      The hydraulic catapult was a hard kick in the "butt" when being shot, as it forced the pilot's head and body back against the headrest/seat back on the ejection seat as a tremendous force was felt by the pilot when they pushed the button to launch. Steam cats are a gradual rapid acceleration down the cat track, and you can actually hold your head steady and not be forced back...

      I assume the newest EMALS is like the steam cat for acceleration but it supposed to be easier on the aircraft's fatigue life and requires less equipment/space aboard the carrier. The carrier Ford CV-78 has had a lot of trouble with it during sea trials but I understand that the problems have been worked out.

      JE comments:  This must be an exhilarating sensation, even addictive.  The closest I came was the "Top Thrill Dragster" at America's Roller Coaster Capital, Cedar Point (Ohio).  I don't know if its launch is hydraulic or electromagnetic, but one thing's for sure--you have to queue a very, very long time for 17 seconds of thrill.  This might be some sort of metaphor for life.


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