The US Navy's Nimitz-class supercarrier USS George H W Bush (CVN 77) is undergoing flight deck certifications in preparation for a 2017 deployment.
As part of the preparations, GHWB used its arrested landing gear to trap its first aircraft after more than 13 months.
The aircraft, which was an F/A-18C Hornet, was flown by the Carrier Suitability Squadron (VX) 23 test pilot and project officer lieutenant Christopher Montague, who performed a 'touch-and-go' on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier.
A validation of the operational capability of the flight deck and flight deck teams is considered important prior to the deployment of the vessel.
Hangar deck chief petty officer James Brinson said: "Flight deck certification is important because we have to certify that all the flight deck teams, hangar deck teams and all of the major systems involved with aircraft are able to do the aircraft carrier job, which is to launch and recover aircraft.”
During its 2014 deployment, USS George H W Bush launched 12,774 sorties, achieving 34,831 flight hours, out of which 3,245 sorties were for combat, which amounted to 18,133 combat flight hours.
Recently, the vessel completed the 2015 planned incremental availability (PIA) period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia.
During the period, repair and modification works were done on USS George H W Bush, which was also installed with two new weapons systems, an improved plumbing system with refurbished anchor chains, and an overall general maintenance.
Image: An F/A-18C Hornet on the flight deck of USS George H W Bush. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Gaines/Released.