At the end of this rave from URL below I'll put more 'raves' about LSO stuff: (all are in the PDFs about 'how to deck land the A-4 - or any USN jet)
1. Could one of y'all put up a "grading passes 101"?
2. The shorthand LSO's use - is it Fleet-standardized?
3. Taught at LSO School? Or just whatever the CAG Paddles prefers?
4. What's considered start/at the middle/in-close? Etc and so on. http://www.airwarriors.com/forum/showthread.php?p=385759&highlight=Grade+Bolter+Waveoff#post385759
I concur with everything A4s said. Only a little bit has changed, it is still the "artform" that he was taught. We have computerized so grades are now stored in a database which makes things like "Top 10" and Trend Analysis much easier. It also means that a couple of the comments have changed. Not many symbols any more. "Rough" as in rough wings, rough nose, etc, is now "RUF" It used to be a squiggly horizontal line. Fly-through-up and fly-through-down, which used to be hand drawn (usually improperly) are now "/" and "\" respectively.
1. Grading Passes and 2. Shorthand and 4. What is the start, in close...
101 Remember the main reason we grade passes is so a pilot can learn from every pass and the Pilot and LSO can spot trends which need correction. My philosophy as a CAG LSO was not "lets see how much detail we can go into" it was more "hit the high points and tell him what he saw."
Tell him what he saw. Not what you saw. Important distinction. If you saw him low, but he saw a centered ball because he was slow and cocked up, then you would say slocu "slow cocked up". Then in the debrief when he doesn't see the low you saw, you can explain the airspeed deviation maksked the glideslope deviation.
We can start grading anywhere we want. In my airwing, we gave upgrades for the SHB - shit hot break, but only if you could handle it. Common calls in the RAG and TRACOM are TWA or TCA - too wide/close abeam. WUX, AA Wrapped up start, angling approach. All valid comments. ("If you ever hear a student say "Don't call the ball until you are wings level, because Paddles can't start grading until the ball call." Please punch them.)
So, basics: We look at three things. Glideslope, Lineup, Speed. There are lots of comments you can use:
Glideslope - H - High LO - Low. HCD - High coming down. B - Flat. (Flat is ALWAYS a glideslope reference, not aircraft attitude) S- Settle
\ - fly down through the glideslope / - Fly up through the glideslope
Lineup - LUR/LUL Lined up left/right R-L -Right to left.
Speed - F - Fast Slo - Slow CU - Cocked up ND - Nose down ACC - Accelerate DEC - Decelerate
We can also talk about the magnitude of a deviation. If it is (in parentheses) it is "a little" if it is underlined that means "a lot".
We grade any part of what we see, from the break to the flyaway on a B (Bolter) or WO (waveoff). For tracking and debriefing purposes, we break the groove up into distinct (but subjective) parts. X - start (usually about the time you go wings level). IM - In the middle. IC - In close. AR - At the ramp. IW - In the wires.
Then we take the deviation comments, put them in a location and build a pass. (We will talk about grading in a minute)
(OK) HX (TMP.CDIC) FBAR 4
Fair pass. High Start, a little too much power on the come down in close, fast flat at the ramp. 4 wire.
-- NEP.DRIM OCSDEC.LUIC LOBAR 3
NO GRADE Not enough power on drift right in the middle. Overcontrolled big settle decel on lineup inclose. Low, very flat at the ramp. 3 wire.
OK (NEPIC) (SAR) 2
OKAY PASS. A little not enough power in close, a little settle at the ramp. 2 wire.
Grades and grading philosophy:
Our (me and the other CAG LSO) philosophy was that in our airwing, it would be harder then in most to get an OK. We did not give sugar calls and expected pilots to get aboard without help. We tried to make it so that the only time you got a radio call was if we thought you were losing control of the pass. Not unheard of on our platform to get a "no grade" and not have anything said. Our mantra was "If he is going to clear the ramp, land near centerline with no drift, and not break the jet (For A4s, that is a new concern in the Hornet age) then we normally won't talk to them.
Grades (and points assigned on 4.0 scale)
OK 5 "Okay Underlined" No deviations. (Never happens) Usually assigned for single engines, 1000th trap, very tough enviornmentals, etc.
OK 4 "Okay pass" Above Average Pass. Minor deviations with timely and proper corrections.
(OK) 3 "Fair Pass" Pass with average deviations and corrections.
B 2.5 Bolter. Basically a fair pass where you didn't get aboard. Boarding rate hit for pilot and squadron. Contrary to popular belief, a bolter is a safe, acceptable pass. (as long as you don't make a habit of it!)
-- 2.0 No Grade. (AKA "Stitch" or "Gash") Below average (but safe) pass. Excessive deviations and/or improper or untimely corrections and/or improper response to LSO call.
WOP 2.0 Pattern Waveoff. Usually issued for gross deviations in the approach turn. Excessive low or overshoot.
WO 1.0 Waveoff. Issued to prevent an unsafe pass from continuing. Caused by escessive deviations, compound deviations, or lack of response to LSO calls.
C 0.0 Cut pass. Unsafe. Probably a mishap.
WOFD * Foul deck waveoff. No grade awarded, doesn't count as a pass. (like a walk in Baseball) No boarding rate hit. (Exception- If you caused the WOFD by not having enough interval, then I would grade it as a WOP)
There are a few others:
OWO (Own Waveoff). Unless done at the start, not safe. Will definitely get a talking to from CAG Paddles and possibly Boss/CAG/CAPT.
WOW Waveoff Winds. Winds out of limits. Treated like WOFD.
3. Taught at LSO school: Not really. Like A4s said, it is an art. The only way you get good at it is to do it. Over and over and over and over.
LSO school is to waving what a simulator and Instrument ground school are to flying: You learn necessary info and procedures, but you don't learn to wave....