Navy Student Pilot’s First Attempt at Carrier Landing Ends in Disaster

When it comes to flying, there’s little room for error and absolutely none for errors driven by panic, especially if you’re coming in for a landing on a moving target such as an aircraft carrier.

For comparison—the average length of a USAF is around 11,000 feet (there are bases with three different runways as aircraft sizes require different lengths; a C5 Galaxy, for example, requires a far longer runway—especially if loaded—than an F-15.)

A US Navy aircraft carrier has an average length of 1092 feet.

Regardless of runway length, however—or whether it’s stationary or moving—a pilot must be focused, alert and, above all, calm.

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If he or she isn’t, disaster can occur, as shown in the video below as a student attempts to land a T2 Buckeye training plane. The incident occurred on October 29, 1989 abord the U.S.S. Lexington.

The video is shot from different cameras around the flight deck; the footage shows the student rolling out of his final turn behind the carrier. The pilot “calls the ball,” telling the Landing Signal Officer standing on a platform on the port side near the stern that he sees the glideslope indicator.

 

QUESTION: I have a terrible time sticking to a task. I get distracted real easily and it’s getting in the way of my training goals. How can I break this habit?

ANSWER: Check out this article—10 Tips to Improve Mental Focus.

QUESTION: Coach, I want to start using a jump rope in my workouts. But it’s been years since I’ve used one. Like probably not since I was a kid. I was wondering if you had some tips and tricks for me?

ANSWER: Yes; check out this article: Jump Rope Tips and Workouts.

 

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