Sliders is shipboard slang for the greasy burgers served aboard. One little roll of the ship, and the slick burger slides away.*

The steel flight decks of carriers are coated with a non-skid material to give the extremely high pressure tires of carrier aircraft just a hint of traction. Unfortunately, hard use wears non-skid away fairly quickly, leaving bare metal exposed. Add in the grease and oil that accumulates, and maybe a touch of salt water, and a strong wind across the deck, and moving planes can quickly get downright sporty.

This video shows just how dangerous it can get, in a heartbeat.


Taken during USS Saratoga’s Desert Storm cruise, the VA-125 E-2C loses traction, and slides across the deck. The port prop actually strikes a tractor on the deck, and then jams its port wing fold into a VA-35 KA-6D’s port elevator.

Incredibly, no one was killed, and apparently no serious injuries were incurred. Word is that the E-2C and the KA-6D both had to be craned off the ship at the next port call for significant repairs before being returned to service.

H/T to Joe Kaposi on Facebook, who has a veritable treasure trove of flight deck mishap footage.


*Hot dogs, of course, are therefore known as “rollers.” Don’t get me started on how “autodog” got its nickname.