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Fighter pilot lands jet with no front landing gear onto stool aboard a Navy ship

Washington: The US military has released video of a fighter pilot landing his jet on a ship faultlessly and without full landing gear on 7 June.It was a normal flight day for U.S. Marine Corps
India TV News Desk June 30, 2014 12:35 IST
India TV News Desk
Washington: The US military has released video of a fighter pilot landing his jet on a ship faultlessly and without full landing gear on 7 June.

It was a normal flight day for U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Mahoney when he took off from the deck of the USS Bataan in his AV-8B Harrier jet.

But, shortly after takeoff Mahoney realized his front landing gear had malfunctioned.

He flew past the ship's control tower and the officer on duty confirmed: the nose landing gear had not deployed.

Fortunately, the Marine Corps keeps a piece of equipment on hand in the event of just such a malfunction. It's essentially a giant stool, capable of supporting the 22,000-pound fighter jet's nose.

But Capt Mahoney had no room for error. If he missed the stool, the $30million piece of military hardware would smash into the deck of the ship - which could potentially ignite the fuel it was carrying.

The pilot uses his plane's jump jets to lower from 300 feet to just 20 feet above the deck.