Terrifying video shows an E-2C Hawkeye almost crashing into the sea after arresting cable snaps aboard USS Eisenhower

This is the worst nightmare for pilots conducting trap landings on an aircraft carrier.

This video was filmed on Mar. 18, 2016 and shows an E-2C Hawkeye performing a trap landing on the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

As the footage shows, the cable used to catch the landing aircraft snapped: you can see the E-2C, slowed down by the #4 wire, continue toward the end of the flight deck, disappear off the flight deck while falling toward the sea before reappearing several seconds later, miraculously managing to gain speed and altitude.

According to the Virginian-Pilot media outlet, U.S. Navy investigators blamed human error and an improperly programmed valve for the incident in which eight sailors were injured.

Aircraft performing for an arrested landing on a carrier apply full throttle immediately after touchdown for two reasons: they may miss the cable or, worst case scenario, the cable might snap. In both cases, the aircraft needs to

About David Cenciotti 4424 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.

4 Comments

  1. It’s very hard to tell. If I were the pilot in command I’d have called for gear up the minute I left the deck. In that situation where the wire hung on so long before snapping they needed all the airspeed they could get. But perhaps you are right. Again – hard to tell.

  2. No – after looking at it again the gear is certainly up. It may have provided the margin of additional airspeed they needed.

  3. I feel sorry for the deck crew that got whacked by that ballistic cable whipping across the deck after it snapped!! I pray for their full recovery! Allot of them most likely have career ending injuries!!! So very sad because some of the crew failed to follow maintenance procedures which lead to this failure of the recovery system.

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