AV-8B HARRIER DEMONSTRATIONS
A representative from Marine Forces Pacific (events west of the Mississippi) or Marine Forces Command (events east of the Mississippi) will contact you to discuss the arrangements for the demonstration. Normally, these respective commands will contact event sponsors within 60 days of the event, however, coordination should be started at least 30 days prior, and completed no later than 14 days prior to the event start date. While the Marine Corps will make every effort to coordinate a supporting Harrier squadron with event sponsors as far in advance as possible, shifts in operations and training schedules can lead to delays or a change in the squadron designated to support the event.
Any changes in event information, including dates, points of contact, etc., must immediately be presented to the Headquarters Marine Corps aviation liaison at 703-614-1034, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support may be cancelled for selected events which fail to notify Headquarters Marine Corps with date changes after the site-selection board has convened.
For each scheduled demonstration, three AV-8B Harriers will arrive at the event, one for static display, one for the demonstration, and one in reserve.
a. Crew Support: It is permissible for the sponsor to provide logistical support for participating Marines. Each pilot will bring one aircraft to the event, and eight ground crew men will follow via commercial air to provide maintenance support.
b. Fuel: The aircraft use about 500 gallons of fuel per demonstration. In addition to the fuel used during the demonstration, the aircraft must be filled with 1,000 gallons of fuel before departing for the home base. Jet A fuel should be available on site at the government contract rate. The pilots will pay with government credit cards, which requires a fuel source that will honor this type of payment. The sponsor must pay any cost for fuel above the government contract price.
c. Water: The Harrier requires 60 gallons of distilled water per demonstration.
The Level III demonstration is approximately 8 to 10 minutes in duration. The demonstration begins with the Harrier taxiing out in front of the grandstand for a short take off followed by a 90-degree climbing turn away from the grandstand. The aircraft then does a reverse turn of 270 degrees to make a high speed pass over the runway at 500 feet. (A minimum altitude of 200 feet and speeds above 250 knots require FAA approval.) Next, the aircraft circles around, approaching the stands in the landing configuration, and comes to hover in front of the crowd. It then backs up 50 to 100 feet, stops, translates left and then right 50 to 100 feet, stops again, and does a 360-degree spot turn. Turning 90 degrees to align with the landing area, a rolling vertical landing is performed. (A vertical landing can be done if the runway surface permits.) This is followed by a vertical or a rolling vertical take-off into the wind (but not over the crowd) to a steep climb-out. After turning downwind at 1,000 feet for a 180-degree position, the Harrier decelerates to do another vertical landing in front of the grandstand. The craft then taxis and shuts down.
Safety requirements mandate a practice demonstration be conducted prior to the air show. This can serve as an opportunity to publicize an event via the local media the day before the show.
If, at any time, a member of the supporting unit feels that the demonstration site has presented unsuitable or unsafe conditions for a demonstration, it is the responsibility of the Marine to delay or cancel support until the concerns have been accurately and completely resolved. If inclement weather, ground debris, or other factors compromises safety, the demonstration pilot may decide on-site that a full demonstration cannot be conducted.
DISRUPTION OF SUPPORT
Though events have been selected for support with due consideration for training and operational commitments for the supporting units, it is at the discretion of the commanding officer to annul support for a commitment due to unforeseen training, operational or safety requirements. If this happens, the USMC will make every effort to provide other aircraft at your event, however, there are NO guarantees that additional aircraft will be available for support.
The event sponsor is highly encouraged to contact and coordinate meals, lodging, and transportation with the supporting unit before funding public announcements of Marine Corps attendance. To coordinate Marine Corps assistance with publicizing demonstration support, contact the local Marketing and Public Affairs (MPA) Marine. To find your local MPA, contact Marine Corps Recruiting Command Headquarters Public Affairs at 703-784-9454.
Local Marine Corps recruiters MUST be invited to attend the event where the demo will take place, and should be allowed to set up a recruiting booth as close as possible to the Harrier or static display.