F/A-18C Procedures

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The following sections describe standard operating procedures and recommendations that are valid only for F/A-18C.


Operating Altitudes

  • A fully fueled and heavily armed Hornet can have problems climbing to altitudes above 30000'.
  • 25k' is often more than enough for a strike ingress.
  • CAP racetracks are most comfortable at 26k' - 30k'.


  • Use ATFLIR instead of Litening, as (IRL) the ATFLIR is carrier compatible and the Litening is not.
  • Do not use AGM-65F (Infrared Maverick) and AGM-62 Walleye in modern missions as those were phased out in the 90's.
  • Double ugly loadouts (carrying 1 centerline tank and 1 wing tank) are common. The wing tank should be on the right wing, in order to not obscure TPod (which sits on the left cheek station) line of sight.



  • Max Flighttime (aka Max Endurance, or Max E) is generally flown around 250 kts IAS.
  • In Max E, the Hornet burns around 1200 lbs of fuel every 15 minutes.
  • Generally, pick one of four speeds:
    • Max Endurance
    • Max Range
    • Contract (prebriefed speed for rejoins etc, often 300 kts)
    • Tactical (what the situation requires)

Tactics and Techniques

  • When anchoring near a target area scanning for targets with the Tpod, the following techniques are recommended:
    • If the threat picture allows, orbit around the target, with a radius of approx 10 nm, as high as possible without losing sight.
    • If situation requires to anchor away from the target, instead use a race track, so that you have the target on your 3-9-line during the straights. Bank slightly to the left when the target is to your right, to not mask yourself.


Overhead Break

  • Cut throttle to idle (do *not* use speedbrake).
  • Pull around 1.5G-2G.
  • In the break, immediately when speed goes below 250 kts IAS, lower landing gear and full flaps.
  • Ideal lateral separation from the runway (and course line) is 1.5 nm.

Carrier Break

  • Cut throttle to idle, extend speedbrake
  • Pull around 2-3G.
  • In the break, immediately when speed goes below 250 kts IAS, lower landing gear and full flaps (speedbrake will automatically retract).
  • Ideal lateral separation from the BRC (and course line) is 1.2 nm.