Tag Archives: USS Bataan

[Video] U.S. Marine Corps Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and (armed) Harrier refueled over the Mediterranean Sea

Marines AV-8B Harrier jet and MV-22 Osprey aircraft from USS Bataan get refueled by KC-130s from Sigonella airbase.

The following video shows fixed-wing and rotary-wing aerial refueling exercise, involving AV-8B and MV-22s, over the Mediterranean Sea with Special Purpose Marine Air- Ground Task Force (SP-MAGTF) Crisis Response KC-130s in June 2014.

Interestingly, the Harrier carries a single GBU-12 500-lb LGB (Laser Guided Bomb) on the right hand underwing pylon. The bomb seems to be marked with a yellow stripe (barely visible, painted on the olive drab color aft of the front guidance kit) which indicates the presence of explosive: in other words, it’s not an inert weapon.

The reason for carrying live ordnance is unknown. Most probably the aircraft were armed and ready to provide support to the evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, which eventually took place on Jul. 26 amid continuing clashes between rival militias.

 

Here’s what a Harrier Jump Jet’s vertical landing at night looks like through NVG vision

Harrier Nighttime Flight Deck Operations

Top image shows an AV-8B Harrier preparing to land on the flightdeck of amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) during night operations.

What makes the picture particularly interesting is the characteristic NVG signature of the Jump Jet about to land on the flight deck of the ship.

Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and, with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in the Arabian Sea and it is going to replace USS Bataan, whose AV-8B Harriers of the 22nd MEU have conducted surveillance missions over ISIS forces in northern Iraq.

Here below is an interesting video showing AV-8B+ Harrier jets on the flight deck of USS Kearsarge sailing off the coast of North Carolina back in 2013.

The Jump Jets belong to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced) of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

 

Top Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

 

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).