Military Aviation

“Little boys want to be fighter pilots. Fighter pilots would rather be COD pilots.” US Navy Flight Officer explains why the C-2A Greyhound is the most desirable aircraft for a Naval Aviator

‘My flight students always looked at me like I was nuts when I told them to go C-2A Greyhound COD, but it really is the best deal in Navy Air,’ Andy Burns, Surface Warfare & Flight Officer at US Navy.

Although the US Navy C-2A fleet is in process of being replaced by the CMV-22B Osprey, the Greyhound still provides rapid airborne logistics capability to the carrier strike force across a full range of sea basing military operations.

As a derivative of the E-2 Hawkeye, the C-2 has a common wing with the Hawkeye but has a widened fuselage and a rear loading ramp. The interior arrangement of the cabin can accommodate priority cargo like jet engines, passengers, litter patients and critical spare parts. A cargo cage system provides restraint for loads during ship launches and landings. Straight-in rear cargo loading and unloading allows for fast turnaround on the ground or carrier flight-deck. The cargo ramp can be opened in flight, allowing for airdrops of supplies and personnel.

The C-2A provided support to the Carrier Strike Groups during Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As told on Quora by Andy Burns, Surface Warfare & Flight Officer at United States Navy, the C-2A is also the most desirable aircraft for a Naval Aviator.

‘The mighty Grumman C-2A Greyhound.

‘My flight students always looked at me like I was nuts when I told them to go COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery), but it really is the best deal in Navy Air.

  • Daytime only Boat flying (aka, the fun Boat flying). No night traps.
  • Stay ashore unless the Boat is in transit to another AOR, almost always in very nice places and on per diem
  • No strike lead quals, weapon schools, or other pain in the ass hooyah stuff. Just fly.
  • Boat and Air Wing are always happy to see you and guaranteed “Charlie on arrival,” when you bring the Pony (mail)
  • Lots of multiengine PIC time

It’s basically the best parts of Boat flying and shore based life with none of the asspain.

As my old onwing used to say: “Little boys want to be fighter pilots. Fighter pilots would rather be COD pilots.”

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kelly M. Agee/ Released

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. E-2C Hawkeye 2000 VAW-112 Golden Hawks, NG600 / 165820 / 2015
Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

View Comments

  • No night traps? I would see that as a deficiency, not an attribute. Maybe that's why the CV-22 will be soon involved in cargo delivery.

  • I've never met a tactical naval aviator that looked forward to nighttime traps. Some tolerated them, most told me it's the only real option to get back on board. From a pilots perspective no night landings would be a positive. It hasn't been enough of a downside for logistics to train C-2 crews for night landings.

  • Nonsense. Yes, nobody likes traps at night. But to trade in a pointy nosed afterburning machine for a trash hauler? Of 1000 fighter jocks you might get 1. Maybe.

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