Strap in the cockpit of a C-2 Greyhound as it launches from USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier on Christmas Day a few years back.
Although Christmas Day is just an ordinary work day for pilots on duty all around the world, some of them like to celebrate the mission in a special way. For example, in the past we have reported about U.S. combat pilots wearing Santa Hat on their flight helmet while joining the tanker for AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) during a combat mission on Christmas Day, and, you search online, you can find several images of U.S. Navy sailors dressed as Santa Claus working on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.
The video in this article shows a catapult launch on Christmas Day in a U.S. Navy C-2A(R) Greyhound with the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40) “Rawhides”. The pilots don’t wear it, but the Santa Hat is clearly visible in the cockpit, attached to one of the windshield’s mounts.
The footage was taken by our friend Rob Roy, an active duty U.S. Navy pilot with 1,000 flight hours, 135 arrested landings, including 75 as the PIC (Pilot In Command), flying the C-2A(R) Greyhound with VRC-40.
We have already posted some of Rob’s cool split screen videos (including one showing him not even blinking on approach to the carrier and another one that included a bolter and a waveoff) and this is also worth a watch because it shows, from the cockpit of the COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) aircraft, the C-2 as it marshalled on the flight deck until it is attached to the catapult shuttle and then launched. The view outside the windshield also gives an idea of how difficult taxiing the Greyhound can be: with a wingspan of 81 feet (about 25 m), the C-2 ties with the E-2 Hawkeye as the biggest aircraft to fly on and off of U.S Navy aircraft carriers. Therefore, the risk of hitting other “things” on the flight deck before reaching the catapult for launch is pretty high (as it is when the aircraft lands and is taxied to the parking position obviously).
Take a look yourself.
Here are some more details about the C-2 we have already posted in a previous article:
The Grumman C-2A Greyhound is a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft, designed to perform the COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) mission: it carries equipment, passengers (including occasional distinguished visitors) supplies and mail to and from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.
Initially scheduled to be retired in 2027, the C-2A(R) will be eventually retired in 2024, when the last squadron is expected to phase out the Greyhound. The U.S. Navy is getting 39 CMV-22 out of 58 Ospreys included in a 4.2B USD contract signed by the Pentagon in 2018 to fully replace the C-2 fleet. The first operational CMV-22B Osprey configured for the COD role was delivered to the U.S. Navy on June 22, 2020. The aircraft, registration #169437, is assigned to Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30 (VRM-30) “Titans” at Naval Air Station North Island. The Titans are the first CMV-22B squadron that was stood up in December 2018, a year before the first flight of the “CODsprey” (as some nicknamed the new aircraft), and they will receive 18 aircraft in total.
On Nov. 22, 2020, a CMV-22B tilt-rotor aircraft of the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30 (VRM-30) “Titans” at Naval Air Station North Island conducted the first ever Navy COD (Carrier On-board Delivery) variant of the Osprey landings and take-offs from an aircraft carrier (USS Carl Vinson).
A big “Thank You!” to Rob for sharing his experience and video with us. Make sure you visit his website robroyoutdoors.com. His podcast called “Adventure Bound” is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.