Sailors compare piloting Navy hovercraft to flying planes, driving race cars

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A Japan Self-Defense Force hovercraft departs a U.S. naval facility near Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, May 10, 2018. JAMES BOLINGER/STARS AND STRIPES
From Stripes.com
A Japan Self-Defense Force hovercraft departs a U.S. naval facility near Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, May 10, 2018. JAMES BOLINGER/STARS AND STRIPES

Sailors compare piloting Navy hovercraft to flying planes, driving race cars

by: James Bolinger | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: May 17, 2018

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Flying a Navy hovercraft requires intense focus, but crews thrive on that pressure, according to one of the sailors who trains them.

The cabin of a landing craft air cushion, or LCAC, looks a lot like the cockpit of a cargo plane, and the controls to fly it are also similar.

The pilot, or “craftmaster,” uses rudder-peddles to control the direction of travel and hand controls to move bow thrusters and adjust the pitch of two giant fiberglass propellers.

Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Marcial, formerly a navigator with the Japan-based Naval Beach Unit 7 who trains hovercraft crews stateside, said the vessels do everything full-size ships do but at a higher rate of speed. They can also can move in six directions, like an aircraft.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.527261

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