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Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

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Thunderbolts practice carrier landings

By Cpl. Brendan Roethel | | September 5, 2014

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Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 conducted Fleet Carrier Landing Practice training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Sept. 2.

The squadron conducted the FCLP training to sharpen their pilots' landing skills prior to embarking on the USS Roosevelt. FCLP training is a requirement for pilots that must be met prior to deploying aboard an aircraft carrier. During FCLP training, pilots land within the same restrictions they would when landing on an aircraft carrier.

Ground crews also play a vital role during FCLP training by ensuring the aircraft in the air and the pilots are safe. If they notice anything wrong with the aircraft, they are to report it as quickly as possible so it can get fixed before returning to the sky.

“This training is vital for both pilots and maintenance Marines,” said Capt. Lanier Bishop, an F/A-18 Hornet pilot for VMFA-251. “For pilots, it helps us land within the limitations we would face while on an aircraft carrier and build on our muscle memory, which is beneficial when landing at night when visibility is limited. For maintenance Marines, FCLP training helps prepare them for the higher operational tempo they will face while on ship.”
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