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Everything an F/A-18 Fighter Pilot Wears in the Cockpit

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Like motorcyclists, U.S. Navy pilots “dress for the slide, not the ride.” Their gear is meant for frost, flames, and flotation. Even the very first pilot to operate from a ship carried safety equipment: Eugene Ely, attempting his landing on the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania in 1911, took the controls of his Curtiss Pusher wearing a leather football helmet, bug-eyed motoring goggles, and a makeshift life vest fashioned from bicycle inner tubes.

The odds of a mission ending with an ejection from the cockpit are slim—it happens precisely 1.33 times per 100,000 hours of flying, according to the Navy. But naval flight officers still carry equipment for just such a scenario. “Most of the gear is only for emergency use,” says Lt. Luke “Oslo” DeLisio, a flight officer from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106. “But when you need it, you’re glad it’s there.”

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us navy f18 pilots

Dan KitwoodGetty Images

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a35809207/everything-an-fa-18-fighter-pilot-wears-in-the-cockpit/

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