Answer ( 1 )

  1. When taking off of an aircraft carrier, the pilot salutes for two reasons:

    The hand salute by the pilot to the catapult officer signals that all the checks have been completed and that the pilot is ready to be catapulted. The catapult is then fired.
    Tradition: When departing a naval vessel it is the custom to salute the OOD and the ensign while requesting permission to go ashore. The pilot’s hand salute to the catapult officer instead of the OOD is a carryover of this naval tradition upon leaving the ship.

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