Chinese pilots practice landing on aircraft carrier

Chinese fighter pilots are practicing landings on the country’s first aircraft carrier, the authorities have confirmed.

Military authorities confirmed Sunday that fighter jets have been conducting take-off and landing training on aircraft carrier Liaoning, reported Global Times.

A defence ministry report said that jets have practiced "touch-and-go" landings, a maneuver that involves landing on the flight deck of the carrier and taking off again without coming to a stop.

It is the first time Chinese authorities have acknowledged that jet pilots have been training on the Liaoning, said the media report.

Online photos have shown the Shenyang J-15 carrier-based fighter making at least several fly-bys above the carrier and military experts have long speculated that "touch-and-go" landings are being practiced by pilots.

Lan Yun, editor of Modern Ships magazine, said "touch-and-go" landings are the last step in primary training for carrier-based fighter pilots.

"In real operations, if pilots judge they cannot complete a landing, they must immediately open full afterburner and takeoff from the flight deck again," Lan was quoted as saying.
"The touch-and-go landings enable the pilots to experience the feeling of a carrier landing and takeoff, and train them to properly handle failed landings," he added.

Monday's announcement came a day after photos of a two-seat land/sea attack variant of the J-15 carrier-based fighter were uploaded to the Internet.

Web users claimed the two-seat fighter made its maiden flight at Shenyang Saturday, two days after the maiden flight of SAC's first stealth fighter, the "J-31".

Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo had told the China Central Television that the Chinese navy will focus on the development of aircraft carriers and carrier-based fighters, new destroyers and frigates, submarines and land-based strike fighters.

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