Watch A Plane Nearly Go Careening Into The Sea When The Landing Cable On Its Aircraft Carrier Snaps

A Navy E-2C Hawkeye almost went flying straight into the ocean back in March, when an improperly programmed valve caused a landing cable on the USS Eisenhower to snap while it was trying to land.

A report on the incident credits the “phenomenal airmanship” of the crew of the Hawkeye, keeping it from crashing. Via The Virginian-Pilot:

As the Hawkeye snagged the No. 4 wire, its three-person crew first sensed normal deceleration followed by a loud bang. They “heard the tailhook re-contact the flight deck, and felt a shudder,” the report said. They realized “something had happened” when the Hawkeye continued toward the end of the flight deck.

Yea, not terrifying at all. The cable recoiled across the deck, doing a ton of damage.

Two sections of the broken No. 4 pendant and purchase cable “recoiled sharply and backlashed,” the report says.

Eight sailors suffered a variety of injuries, including a fractured ankle, wrist, pelvis and legs. One sailor received skull and facial fractures while another suffered a possible traumatic brain injury.

A C-2A Greyhound and an MH-60S Seahawk also received about $82,000 in damage, according to the report.

A Navy investigation concluded it was just an honest mistake.

The Navy did not find evidence of willful dereliction of duty or negligence by the maintenance workers. The report said that while there was a “lack of procedural compliance” while troubleshooting an error code from a previous arrested landing, “the sailors involved reasonably believed they had properly and conscientiously completed the complicated procedure.”

Really makes me happy my job doesn’t carry any of that kind of responsibility.

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[Via Digg]