Academic journal article Air Power History

Wave-Off!

Academic journal article Air Power History

Wave-Off!

Article excerpt

Wave-Off! By Robert R. "Boom" Powell, CDR, USN (Ret). Forest Lake Minn.: Specialty Press, 2017. Tables. Diagrams. Illustrations. Photographs. Notes. Glossary. Index. Pp. 190. $39.95 ISBN: 978-1-58007-235-9

This is an excellent example of a coffee table book on a unique subject. Any books I remember reading about carrier flight operations, especially those written from the pilot's perspective, focus on the challenge inherent in trying to put a very large (relatively speaking) piece of hardware on a moving runway. Oftentimes, this runway is not only moving forward, but also it may be pitching up and down and side to side. In addition, it may be dark, rainy, and so on. As a pilot, I have no end of respect for other pilots who take on this challenge every day as naval aviators. One aspect of this very dangerous operation is the absolutely vital role the LSO, or landing signal officer, plays in assisting the pilot in safely landing aboard the ship. In fact, the LSO is there guiding the pilot to a successful trap (landing) in all the conditions mentioned above.

This book is Powell's contribution to sharing the story of this essential role. He, himself, served as an LSO on numerous ships as well as an instructor and is, therefore, very knowledgeable on the subject. Interspersed throughout the larger narrative, Powell weaves his own personal experiences and stories along with commentaries from other pilots. …

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