There is a Ouija board on USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). It’s not used to communicate with spirits. It’s actually a system used to keep track of all the planes on the flight deck and hangar deck, and all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers use them.
The Ouija board is a GA (general arrangement) drawing of the flight and hangar decks and catwalks made out of stainless steel and covered by Plexiglass. Many aircraft carriers, like Bush, have customized the boards, color-coded for quick and easy reading.
There are plastic cutouts of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters that the aircraft handling officer (also known as the handler and easily identified by “HANDLER” painted on his green shirt) moves on the Ouija board as they take off, land and are moved on the flight and hangar decks. Colored pins and hex nuts are used to show the status of the aircraft, whether it’s getting fueled (purple hex nut), getting ready to launch (green pin) or undergoing some other activity on one of the decks.
Pictured is Lt. Cmdr. Ron Rancourt, the handler aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). He works in Flight Deck Control and is responsible for the movement and arrangement of all aircraft on the flight and hangar decks.
Read “How Things Work: The Ouija Board,” in Air & Space Magazine for more about Ouija Boards on aircraft carriers.