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
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.


  1. HOW THE HELL that plane was able to come out of that near disaster is beyond me…..that pilot is amazing! WOW!!!!HOLY CRAP!

  2. Tower this is Hawkeye 123, we’re going to need some fresh underwear. Out.

  3. OMG what a pilot! There must have been a good headwind coupled with full throttle!

  4. No … Not the worst nightmare conducting traps. It got far worse all to often on the WWII straight decks, with no clear deck in front of you. Proceeding thru (worse still .. Over) the barricade cables into numerous aircraft that had just landed, with the resulting loss of life, injuries and carnage to the Hellcats & Avengers. But yes that E2 was still a hair raising (skillful & lucky) event.

  5. did the hawkey touch the waves? crew can celebrate a 2nd birthday now. any injuries from the snapped cable on deck?

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