Tag Archives: United States Sixth Fleet

Rare video of Marines AV-8B Harrier no nose gear vertical landing on amphibious assault ship

One of the few (if not the only) video showing a Harrier Jump Jet (nose) gear up landing on USS Bataan.

Here’s something you don’t see every day.

On Jun. 7, 2014, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Mahoney, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), had to perform Vertical Landing on USS Bataan, after his AV-8B Harrier aircraft experienced a front landing gear malfunction.

USS Bataan was operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to augment U.S. Crisis Response forces in the region when Mahoney took off from the amphibious assault ship.

As he was climbing away from the deck he suddenly realized he had a gear malfunction. He immediately slowed down in order not to overspeed the landing gear, returned above the ship at 2,000 feet and started talking to “Paddles” (LSO – Landing Signal Officers), a pilot in the control tower who could provide assistance by radio.

Harrier no nose gear down

The Harrier flew the approach at 300 ft so that the LSO could see the landing gear and give some guidance to put the nose on a tool the ship has for this kind of issues: a sort-of stool.

Since there’s no way to train to land in this kind of situation, the pilot had to fly a perfect vertical landing, using the ship lighting system and the help of LSO on his first attempt.

Luckily, he stabilized at 20 feet and managed to land in the proper spot as shown in the video (that, weirdly, was removed by the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet feed that had published it; luckily, we found it again and reuploaded it since it is unclassified and released as you can see in the first frames of the footage).

 

Join a Marines “Jump Jet” on a flight over the Mediterranean sea off USS Kearsarge

Take a seat and watch the following interesting video.

It shows Capt. David Neely, an AV-8B Harrier Pilot assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), during a mission off the USS Kearsarge (LHD3), Mediterranean Sea, Mar. 28, 2013.

At the 03:10 mark, note the pilot shaking his head after the vertical landing: a gesture suggesting he might be unsatisfied about the way he got on the ship (rough, short, unbalanced).

AV-8B

The 26th MEU is deployed to the 6th Fleet’s area of operations (AOR) where it operates as a  forward-deployed, sea-based quick reaction force.

The MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations.

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The U.S. Navy aircraft performing this flyover could soon kick some ass in Syria (or elsewhere)

The following picture, taken on Jul. 10, depicts 11 aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 fly over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea on a scheduled deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

While tension in Syria grows because of the atrocies being committed by the Syrian army and pro-Assad militia, as a consequence of the increasing Syrian armed forces activity and because of the alleged downing of a Turkish Air Force RF-4E, the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the area means that Washington could be ready in a matter of a few hours to back with force the “immediate ceasefire in and around Hama to allow the UN observer mission” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Jul. 13.

Still, a military intervention in Syria is quite unlikely at the moment and the USS Eisenhower will probably move to the Persian Gulf in the next weeks.

To support Operation Enduring Freedom. And keep Iran under costant pressure.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Image credit: U.S. Navy