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By Stephen Coonts

The main bold -- and lethal -- terrorist plot of all time is ready to spread aboard the supercarrier USS United States. If it succeeds, the stability of nuclear energy will tilt in desire of a remorseless Arab chief. And it seems like not anyone can cease it - other than army "jet jock" Jake Grafton. "Cag " Grafton is one helluva pilot. His F-14 Tomcat is one helluva aircraft. yet a few of Jake's crewmates have already vanished. a lady reporter who boarded the send in Tangiers is probably not who she claims to be. And Jake could have to disobey an immediate order from the President himself for one spine-tingling, hair-raising Final Flight

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The handler then introduced the parking spot, which different sailors donning radio-telephone headsets relayed to the taxi administrators at the flight deck. 4 sailors donning headsets surrounded the desk and driven the plane versions round it according to the observations of spotters stationed excessive within the island or at the hangar deck. the size version and the cutout plane allowed the handler to immediately be certain the positioning of each airplane at the send. even if he had 4 and a part acres of flight deck and acres of hangar to paintings with, the handler fought a unending conflict opposed to gridlock. opposed to the some distance wall the squadron upkeep chiefs shouted into their headsets and intercom packing containers and wrote with grease pencils on a wide plexiglas board that confirmed the upkeep prestige of each airplane at the send. virtually each person used to be shouting, at another person or right into a mouthpiece, and the muffled whine of engines at idle or complete strength supplied symphonic history. The airmen in flight equipment ready to guy the alert plane stuffed the remainder of the distance. Grafton became again to the window whilst a sailor close to him lit a cigarette. “Okay. That’s the final one,” the handler eventually roared over the hubbub. “You alert men provide me your weight chits and guy ’em up. ” Grafton handed him a published shape along with his aircraft’s weight computation penciled in. The launching officer would want this weight to calculate the correct surroundings for the catapult within the occasion the alert birds needed to release. The handler glanced on the shape, making sure it was once signed by means of the pilot, then scribbled the quantity in grease pencil on a standing board beside him. The crews donned their helmets and waddled towards the door in pairs—it was once tough to stroll commonly donning 40 kilos of flight equipment and a decent torso harness that impinged upon your testicles. Grafton opened the hatch to the flight deck and stepped via. He and Reed walked among plane and stopped on the foul line, the best fringe of the touchdown sector. The wind and misty rain gave the air a sit back, and Jake shivered. The rescue helicopter, the “angel,” got here out of the gloom over the fantail and settled onto the ahead component to the touchdown sector. The crewman tumbled out the facet door of the SH-3 and started fitting tie-down chains as flight deck staff in blue shirts rushed in to aid. In moments the chains have been put in and the engines died. The rotors spun slower and slower, until eventually ultimately they got here to relaxation. A yellow flight deck tractor towed an F-14 with wings swept aft earlier the helicopter and spun it round into the hook-up zone of quantity 3 Catapult. whilst the blue-shirts wearing chocks and chains had it secured, the tractor was once unhooked and the nostril tow-bar got rid of. In a couple of moments one other tractor got here aft from the bow towing the A-6E that Jake and Reed have been to guy and parked it simply wanting the foul line at the port, or left, part of the touchdown sector. this night the alert plane consisted of the 2 F-14 Tomcats noticed simply wanting the waist catapults and A-6 Intruders noticed away from the touchdown sector.

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