Harrier Aviator Sticks No Front Gear Landing–DEAD On Precision
Like They Say, Practice Makes Perfect.
There’s always that discussion about pilots and aviators. You tell us which category this guy lands in, although it’s pretty obvious.
Captain William Mahoney left the USS Bataan on a routine mission when his HUD lit up. Displaying a gear malfunction signal, he and the tower decided that he should quickly turn around to assess what’s going on.
Hovering above the deck, the tower told him his front gear retracted but didn’t extend again after he was asked to try. Having a malfunctioning plane, the exercise was canceled and Captain Mahoney was in for a tricky landing.
Flying a Harrier, a carrier landing without the front gear was not as dangerous as with a normal plane of course. There’s no need for a barrier nor the involvement of most of the crew, but still, the least amount of damage the plane could sustain the better.
Harriers were introduced into service in 1969 and are still in service.
Fortunately, the Navy has a contingency plan for this particular situation. There is a device on board which resembles a stool which fits the curvature of a Harrier’s nose. In case of the malfunctioning nose gear, the plane can still be sat down without damage, but it’s no easy task.
The pilot is unable to see it as you can imagine, plus, he’s fighting winds as well. He has to rely on his training (namely, landing perfectly on the centerline) and deckhands that are guiding him.
Check out the video to see how he did!