Tag Archives: United States Navy

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

New video shows Blue Angel #6 crashing in Smyrna, Tennessee

A new video that appears to show the Blue Angels crash in Tennessee has been posted online.

A new video uploaded to Youtube yesterday seems to show the deadly crash that killed Capt. Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel #6 during a practice flight at the Smyrna Airport, Tennessee, on Jun. 2.

The clip shows the Lead and Opposing solo depart: whilst the #5 performs the dirty roll, the #6 performs a low transition and at 285 KCAS he pulls to 70 degrees nose up. According to the Blue Angels Maneuvers Manual at a minimum of 3,500 feet, he would roll the aircraft 180 degrees and complete a Split S reversal.

The footage shows the doomed Hornet almost leveling off at the end of the maneuver beyond the trees before a smoke and fireball is caused by the impact with the ground.

Did the pilot reach the required 3,500 feet? Did something else fail? Did the pilot suffer a G-LOC (G-force induced Loss of consciousness)?

The video does not help answering those questions, still it provides some new details about the deadly crash.

H/T to our pal Tyler Rogoway at The War Zone for posting the video.



Russian Tu-142 appears over Syria for the first time (the day after the USN launched first strikes from the Med Sea)

One day after the U.S. Navy launched the first strikes from the Mediterranean a Russian Tu-142, an aircraft developed for reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare, was spotted over Aleppo, Syria.

The following video, allegedly filmed on Jun. 5, 2016, at Aleppo, Syria clearly shows a Russian Bear flying overhead.

Based on the barely visible search radar underneath the fuselage and the characteristic tail with a MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) boom, the aircraft seems to be a Tu-142M “Bear F”, a reconnaissance and ASW variant derived from the iconic Tu-95 Bear bomber.

Whilst the “standard” Tu-95s have already been used to carry out air strikes against Syrian ground targets beginning in November last year, the one spotted over Aleppo would be (if confirmed) the first Tu-142 to take part in the air war over Syria.

As said the Tu-142 was developed as a maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft. However, it is believed to be able to carry different sensor packages and some believe the Bear F could be used as an ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) platform, to pinpoint targets for tactical strike aircraft.

However, as long-range naval reconnaissance plane, the Tu-142 could also have been tasked to keep an eye on the USS Truman CSG (Carrier Strike Group): a “response” of Moscow to the first air strikes launched by an aircraft carrier from the eastern Mediterranean Sea since 2003.

F-35C carrier variant JSF drops first AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW)

The F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force conducted the first weapons separation test of an AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) from an F-35C.

On Mar. 23, during flight 180 over the NAVAIR Atlantic Test Ranges, Cmdr. Ted Dyckman, a U.S. Navy F-35 test pilot, dropped an inert JSOW from aircraft CF-05 assigned to the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 of the F-35 Lightning II Pax River ITF joint team, aboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

The test marked the first non-Mk 80 series bomb ever released from an F-35 Lightning II and according to the Navy (highlight mine): “The JSOW safely separated from an internal weapons bay within the F-35C carrier variant, thereby maintaining the stealth characteristics of the aircraft. […] The team will release additional JSOWs throughout 2016. Working on the multi-phase testing of the F-35 Block 3F capabilities, are U.S. government, military and contractor personnel, and industry partners from Raytheon Systems Ltd.”

AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) is the name a family of low-cost, air-to-surface cruise missiles that employ an integrated GPS-INS system and thermal imaging IR seeker.

With an operational range of up to 130 km (when launched from high-altitude), the JSOW has been used in combat during Operation Desert Fox, Operation Southern Watch, NATO Operation Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A U.S. E-6B Doomsday Plane is using “Trump” as radio callsign while flying over central U.S. right now

By accident or not, a U.S. Navy E-6B is flying over CONUS using callsign “Trump.”

This is really interesting: at 18.15 GMT an E-6B Mercury (TACAMO – “TAke Charge And Move Out”) that appear to have departed from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is flying at 29,000 feet over central U.S.

Based on the information gathered by Planefinder.net via ADS-B, the aircraft is serialled 162784 and it is flying more or less southbound over Arkansas, after crossing the airspaces over Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

And, most interesting, it’s using a somehow unusual callsign: Trump.

Trump flight

Not sure the reason behind this callsign.

Most probably someone thought that it was funny to give a “Doomsday” plane the name of the (controversial) candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election as a radio callsign. Or maybe something else. Who knows?

Anyway, the “Mercury” are U.S. Navy operated aircraft that play an extremely important role for U.S. National Security: they are used to relay instructions to the fleet ballistic missile submarines in case of nuclear war but also act as back ups of the four E-4Bs NAOC (National Alternate Operations Center), working as ABNCP (Airborne Command Post) platforms (hence “Doomsday Plane“).

They are often trackable online, while performing various critical missions: the so-called Looking Glass mission (mirroring the ground-based C3 center at Offutt AFB and relaying orders); talking to submarines trailing a 26,000 ft wire antenna; launching commands to ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles) via Airborne Launch Control System, and performing C3 (Command Control Communication) operations to forces operating in theatre.

But they were never seen or heard using such a callsign before Mar. 8, when E-6B 162784 was caught using “Trump” for the first time.

BTW, as “Trump” continues its flight southbound, another E-6B is flying over northeastern U.S. with a less weird callsign: “Leon 55.”

Leon 55

H/T @BalooganCamp for the heads-up. Image credit: screenshot from Planefinder.net.