It was a normal flight day on June 7, according to U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Mahoney. He took off from the USS Bataan in his AV-8B Harrier aircraft. Suddenly Mahoney realized something was not right with the Harrier.
"As I was climbing away from the deck, I put my gear up," the captain recalled in a video documenting the incident. "[I] realized I had a gear malfunction."
Mahoney slowed down and called for help. He was flying solo and communicated with a landing signal officer, who can act as a co-pilot of sorts from the ground. Mahoney approached the USS Bataan at about 300 feet, so the LSO could see the landing gear and diagnose the issue. The LSO, nicknamed "Paddles," confirmed that the nose gear did not come back down.
It was then that Mahoney was informed of a stool built for this particular situation. By lining up the nose of the jet with this invention, it was possible for the pilot to conduct a vertical landing. Mahoney had no experience with this.
By aligning the ship'sRead More »from Marine Lands Jet Vertically Without Nose Gear