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Kitty Hawk, Air Wing Prepare to Take Flight Again

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070518-08
Release Date: 5/18/2007 10:20:00 AM


By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph A. Vernola, USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs

USS KITTY HAWK, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) departed Yokosuka, Japan, on May 15, to begin carrier qualifications after a four-month maintenance period and recent sea trials.

The ship’s Air Department will work with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 pilots and air crews to earn the certifications necessary to conduct flight operations during the upcoming summer deployment, said Cmdr. Mike Horsefield, Air Department head.

Carrier qualifications will also allow the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 115 "Liberty Bells" an opportunity to test new equipment on their E-2C Hawkeye aircraft.

“We have new propellers on the planes and we are going to see how the planes react to taking off from the carrier,” said Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Ricardo Sawh, a VAW-115 troubleshooter and final checker. “The planes make a lot less noise and vibrations now, so the plane flies a lot smoother.”

The squadron plans to thoroughly test the new propellers during 30 scheduled flights, said Sawh.

Carrier qualifications also allow air wing personnel to become familiar with ship operations, according to Lt. James Lomax, Strike Fighter Squadron 102 air-to-ground weapons training officer.

“Carrier qualifications really help in getting our pilots back up to speed after not being on the ship for a while,” said Lomax.

Carrier qualifications are the last step Kitty Hawk must complete before starting its summer deployment.

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