Rob "Bomber" Henderson remembers Flight of the Intruder

"Landings on the carrier were hair raising to say the least. You did have the help of the ILS system and also the "meatball" on the carrier, which although I'm sure it did work ( if you look at it through outside views at differing heights, the lights did change ) you could never see it clear enough while on approach. The landings were tough, and I dread to think how many times I went into the back of the boat.

Luckily to help increase the survival rate, you also had an ACLS ( automated carrier landing system ). I wasn't a specific specialised avionics system, but more of a fancy name for the autopilot following it's last waypoint. The auto pilot was fairly "sophisticated", and had two modes, waypoint and full combat.

The waypoint would only follow waypoints, while the combat would follow waypoints but then engage MiGs in combat and defend itself against missiles if possible. The combat mode only seemed to have a limited effect on the F-4's, while the A-6's seemed totally immune to the command! The only thing that would definitely work was that it would get you back on the carrier in one piece.

F-4 Phantom

Arming screens

MiGMan thanks Rob "Bomber" Henderson for these recollections.


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