Good evening, FighterSweep Fans! You’re about to see some great footage from a GoPro attached to the cranial of a VFA-87 “Golden Warriors” troubleshooter.
The “shooters,” as we call them, are a Navy flying squadron’s maintainers and are selected from the best of their respective rates. These professionals reside in a squadron’s “line shack” and have a number of important responsibilities entrusted to them.
Much like the Dedicated Crew Chiefs in the Air Force, the troubleshooters can plug into the jet and talk directly to the pilot to help him resolve a discrepancy he can’t fix with his knowledge alone. They also help with the “final checking” of an aircraft before it goes flying–whether from the flight line at home or the flight deck at sea.
Known for their white checkered flight deck jerseys, they will do a final sweep of major aircraft systems as the McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18C Hornet prepares for launch. In this video, as the “War Party” jet taxis into position on Cat 3, this shooter checks everything along the starboard side of the jet. Working aft, he’ll start with the radome and move to the various probes and antennas, as well as the nose gear doors. As he moves to the wings and past an AIM-7 Sparrow, you’ll see him pass the “lock the wings” arm signal at 00:29.