Murphy's Law: The King of Traps


March 19, 2007: Another U.S. Navy aviator (Captain Richard "Rhett" Butler) entered the "Thousand Traps" club, when he made his thousandth carrier landing on March 15th. Butler is the CAG (commander of the Carrier Air Group) on the USS Ronald Regan. Butler joined the navy in 1983. Only about a thousand carrier aviators have made a thousand traps (as carrier landings are called). The all time record holder is a World War II British Royal Navy test pilot, Captain "Winkle" Brown, who has 2,407 traps to his credit (mainly because would often spend day after day taking off and landing on a carrier to test new equipment or procedures). The American record holder is U.S. Navy Captain "Lites" Leenhouts, with 1,645 traps. Leenhouts retired in 2000.

Most of the "1,000 Traps Club" members are American, simply because most aircraft carriers ever built were American. Typically, a carrier aviator does about a hundred traps a year. However, because of the war on terror, and more work for carriers, many aviators are getting nearly twice as many traps. So it's possible that Leenhouts record may be in danger, but it's unlikely that anyone will ever match Browns.


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close