Friday, October 2, 2009

Colors of the Flight Deck – The Brown Shirt

In a continuing series on my humble electronic home, I want to introduce you to the many and varied colors of shirts worn on the Flight Deck of your typical Aircraft Carrier. The color is significant in what the people are doing and even within the color there are differences.

Explained herein Today's lesson: The Brown Shirts.

Every Aircraft on the flight deck has someone assigned to it that is basically its nurse maid. The Brown shirt or Plane Captain takes care of our aircraft's daily needs, the care and feeding so to speak. Most are Jet Engine Mechanics (or AD) assigned to the Squadron but not the actual Jet Engine shop, they do their 'apprenticeship' as a Plane Captain assigned to the Line Division.

A PC goes through the Startup and Launch checklist with the crew of a War Hoover.

(USN Photo)

Lots of plastic to clean. Note how the Avionic Bay doors are used as a step and work platform. What you can't see are the built in hand holds that allow you to get up there and work. (USN Photo)

All of these men and women are trained in how to service the aircraft engines and hydraulics systems, they inspect and service the tires and wheel assemblies and they inspect the aircraft after each flight and they prepare it prior to each flight as well. They clean the interior, the canopy and every ten days while at sea, they give it a wash using cans of a spray cleaner'

A Tomcat gets a hand wash. (USN Photo)
Swabbing out the chuncks! Maverric spewed here? (USN Photo)

The Brown Shirt is often found decorated with tie down chains as each aircraft must be chained to the flight deck. They are responsible for the chains and are brought to plane side upon recovery. At night and when heavy weather is imminent more chains are required and it is the Brown Shirt that hauls them out and gets them on the Jet.
The Brown Shirt Neclace!! Each set weighs 10 pounds. (USN Photo)

More than 60 pounds of chains on this PC. (USN Photo

Chores a plenty. Everything needs attention. (USN Photo)

It is a dirty and tedious business and they perform them without fail.

I was very good friends with my squadrons Plane Captains, my running mate when on liberty overseas was an AD Plane Captain. We were shore patrol buddies as well, always volunteering for that duty together, better to cover each other's backs. A good guy well, except for that flying in P-3's business. Don't know what got into him for that!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

I'm most impressed by the fact you find all these cool pics to illustrate these posts... and also by the fact they EXIST at all. The Navy does a damned good job at documenting its activities. The best, actually (even though it pains me greatly to say that).

JimmyT said...

Buck, I have been collecting them for a long time. I wish it was eaiser to embed photos in blogger, I'd put even more. Green shirts are next and I have a bunch of those!!

Oh, I have a bunch of USAF photo's too. I might start a series about classic aircraft that you don't see any where like the B-58 (a favorite), the B-1 which you don't see a lot of.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Former Brown Shirt here, I worked on the line for a year before going to AW school, it was a mark of professional achievement to wear a brown jersey. Your PQS was signed off and you had been exammed and boarded by QA. checkers and chainers wore blue.

Barco Sin Vela II said...

I meant to write "Chockers and Chainers wore blue."

JimmyT said...

Barco, When my squadron first stood up with the S-3 they made everyone working the flight deck as a Final Checker go through the PC tract and actually qualify as a full PC. It came in handy knowing all that stuff,especially when taken out on a cross country!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

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