No Nose Gear Vertical Landing

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Landing a jet on an aircraft carrier takes special skills and nerves of steel. A Harrier jet can land vertically, but what if something goes wrong? U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Mahoney approached the USS Bataan in his AV-8B Harrier when the forward landing gear malfunctioned. The Navy has an apparatus for this purpose, a sort of oversized bar stool to land the nose on. But the pilot can’t see directly below; he’s on top of the jet. Read the entire story at The Aviationist.  -via Spoid

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It's an interesting story but I really don't think it's that big of a deal. The story answered a question I had whether they had the stool ready or had to cobble one together in a hurry. Since the Harrier can fly horizontally and/or vertically it seems to me the pilot wouldn't have to see any visual clues at all. He simply just follows the instructions he's getting on the radio from the LSO. "...go forward very slow 3, 2, 1 feet. Stop! Slowly move straight down." Easy peasy! Looked like he bounced it in pretty hard. Maybe they need to add some padding to the stool.

What's really cool is watching an aircraft hit the barrier on a carrier. I saw that once while on the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). Saw a RN Harrier land and take off on the JFK once also. Was neat seeing it take off w/o the catapult.

(USN & USMC carrier pilots are the BEST in the world!)


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