VRC-50 CV Flight Operations

U. S. Navy Aircraft Carriers Project Power Throughout The World.....Foriegn Policy Instruments of the United States Government

VRC-50 COD ( Carrier Onboard Delivery ) Aircraft Delivered High Priority......Cargo...Mail...Personnel....whatever was/is required
by the Carrier and her escorts.

VRC-50 COD Aircraft provided this service to all the oceans of the world.

Listing of Aircraft Carriers that VRC-50 provided COD Service and / or Detachments.

Color Coded Flight Deck Jerseys

Carrier Onboard Delivery [COD] Aircraft of VRC-50


Upon departure from homeplate....the COD flies to the Carrier....in accordance with the Overhead Message. This message gives the COD pilot the intended position (PIM) of the carrier at a given time. Once within a predetermined distance...the COD contacts STRIKE (in the CDC)...relays the LOAD REPORT...how much cargo..how many PAX (passengers)...and most importantly...how much MAIL (or pony...carrier lingo). STRIKE will relay any important information to the COD flight crew. Upon flying closer to the CARRIER...STRIKE will pass control to MARSHALL (in Air Operations)...and once again pass the LOAD REPORT. More often than not....the COD will be sent to STARBOARD DELTA...a holding pattern...on the right side of the ship...This is a standard pattern using DME from the CV TACAN.


Once the Carrier flight deck is ready to accept aircraft...the COD is switched to the TOWER...this is where the AIR BOSS is...The AIR BOSS is in complete control of all flight operations within a certain airspace and onboard the Carrier. When it is time to TRAP (land) onboard the Carrier...the BOSS gives the COD a CHARLIE or clearance to land. The COD flys a predetermined pattern...and performs a BREAK.. or a hard left turn..(over the extended centerline of the Carrier) and begins an approach to the landing area of the Carrier and make an ARRESTED LANDING (TRAP). This is just the start of a typical COD flight. The COD has landed as part of a cycle...a launch and recovery operation. The COD will now have to be parked...off loaded...reloaded...and normally relaunched (CATAPULTED) as part of the next cycle. This is a typical day in the life of a VRC-50 COD flight crew.


What happens while on deck? VRC-50 utilized 3 different COD aircraft...the C-1A...C-2A...US-3A...Each had it's own manner and methodology of loading and unloading. The C-1A was the easiest by far to load and unload. The US-3A was very fast to unload..as most of what it carried was mail...and there were always ample volunteers to unload and reload this aircraft. The C-2A was quite a different story. This aircraft took some coordination to load and unload...maybe reconfigure the seating and the cargo cage. There were 2 Aircrewmen per aircraft..a Plane Captain and Loadmaster. Besides the loading and unloading, and reconfiguring of these aircraft...the Aircrewmen had to compute the Aircraft Weight and Balance..this was to ensure that the aircraft's load limits were not exceeded and the pilots could safely remain airborne.