An unusual sight: hook down landing on runway

Arrested landings on aircraft carrier require a tailhook to catch one of the four deck’s wires but almost all military planes, even the ground based ones have a hook, that is used in emergency landings: usually when the pilot experiences a failure that could imply a braking malfunction, the aircraft will touch down as if it was a normal landing.

Then, to slow down the aircraft as much as possible, an aerodynamic braking is performed (by taking the nose high after touch down until it “drops” on the runway) and then the pilot lowers the hook before reaching the cable that is located at the end of the runway. Finally, the cable slows the aircraft until it stops (over a longer distance than the arrestor cable on an aircraft carrier to reduce the stress on the airframe and tailhook, that is not as tough as the ones equipping naval aviation planes).

That said, an image of a plane landing on a normal runway is usual. The image above was taken by Giovanni Maduli to an Israeli Air Force F-16B, belonging to the 140 Sqn, landing on runway 35R in Decimomannu airbase on Nov. 24, 2010.



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.