Back in March, a Navy E-2C Hawkeye nearly crashed into the ocean when a landing cable on its aircraft carrier, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, snapped. You can watch the video of the incident above.
Thanks to the quick thinking actions of the crew piloting the plane, no one onboard was injured or worse. Eight people on the deck were injured in the incident.
For their actions, the Navy gave every member the Armed Forces Air Medal. From Navy Times:
Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Browning, Lt. Cmdr. Kellen Smith and Lt. Matthew Halliwell with Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 were presented the award that recognizes heroic actions and meritorious service while flying for recovering their Hawkeye from an unexpected plunge off the Ike’s deck.
“It all happened in about eight seconds,” said Smith, according to a press release from the Ike. “While we were decelerating we heard a loud snap. When we would normally be coming to a stop, we weren’t. Our years of training kicked in and we reacted on instinct. I slapped back the ditching hatch (Hawkeyes do not have ejection seats) as we cleared the deck and began a deep settle (significant descent). I would guess we were about 10 feet from the water before we lifted back up, but Lt. Smith expertly kept us climbing away. It was a sigh of relief when we were back in the air. It helps to know that at the critical moment, all we practice for this scenario actually works. The experience has made me much more confident in my training.”
The Navy found that the crew on deck servicing the cable incorrectly fixed an error code before the landing.
A command investigation laid the blame with an improperly programmed No. 4 cable, which had thrown an error code earlier in the day. Three sailors in the arresting gear were disciplined for improperly troubleshooting the code, according to the investigation, which caused it to let out too much wire and fail to absorb the force of the landing Hawkeye.
A report on the incident recommended streamlining maintenance procedures to prevent any similar accidents.
[Via Navy Times]