US Navy Down to the Wire – T2 Buckeye Carrier Training Operations Early 1970s

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This 30 minute film tells the story of new recruit US Navy fighter pilots and their journey to proficiency in carrier operations. The new pilots first have to learn the basics of aviation the propellor powered T-34 Mentor before they advance to the T-2 Buckeye US Navy training jet.

Once on the T-2, they flew airfield circuits simulating an aircraft carrier landing deck, with their instructor positioned at the runway threshold giving each student pilot live feedback over the radio to improve their flying techniques. We are introduced to the pilots who explain the stress of the challenges they are facing in the training.

After much flight training and classroom teaching, the pilots fly in formation in their T-2 Buckeyes to an aircraft carrier where their instructor is waiting for them to perform the live carrier landings.

Landing and take-off on a moving carrier deck requires much skill and training with no room for error, and this movie explains the whole journey from newbie to carrier operations qualification.