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Kitty Hawk Departs for Sea Trials

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070531-03
Release Date: 5/31/2007 6:50:00 AM

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

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) departed for sea trials May 4, following a four-month selected restrictive availability maintenance period.

The purpose of the five-day sea trials was to prepare the ship’s equipment and crew for sea, according to Cmdr. Antonio Cardoso, Kitty Hawk’s chief engineer.

“Sea trials help transition Sailors into the operational mindset and gets them thinking about what they have to do at sea,” said Cardoso.

All shipboard systems -- including the steering, firefighting equipment, fuel and fuel storage, communication and radar systems, and emergency response procedures -- were tested to ensure readiness, according to Cardoso. The boilers’ control systems will also be tested to ensure the systems can respond from “no load” to “full load.”

"Personnel from Naval Air Forces Pacific will inspect the ship’s Air Department as part of a certification process in three areas in conducting flight operations," said Cmdr. Mike Horsefield, Kitty Hawk’s Air Department head.

The three certifications are fuel, flight deck and on-ramp, which the Air Department must earn before any aircraft are allowed on the ship, according to Cmdr. John Kurtz, Air Department mini boss.

"The fuel certification inspection will test Air Department’s ability to handle the Kitty Hawk’s JP-5 jet fuel efficiently and effectively while avoiding spillage," said Kurtz.

On-ramp certification includes an inspection of the flight deck, as well as aircraft launching and arresting gear.

The air crew will also conduct crash drills using “Tillie,” an aircraft salvage crane, to practice jettisoning wrecked aircraft.

“We need to know that all our aircraft handlers can handle any situation from taxiing aircraft to a fire on the flight deck,” said Kurtz. “This involves all 550-plus Sailors in our department and we’re confident in their abilities.”

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