August 17, 2016
By Lorra B.
The U.S. Navy released footage of a near disaster on the aircraft carrier USS Dwight Eisenhower but the brave pilots aboard saved the plane before it plummeted off the aircraft carrier on March 18.
When the E-2C Hawkeye, the biggest plane to fly on and off the carrier, tried to land on the USS Dwight Eisenhower two pilots were aboard from the Screwtops of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123.
The E-2C has a wingspan of over 80 feet and weights more than 25 tons.
Unable to stop, the Hawkeye almost plunged into the water when it reached the end of the runway because of an arresting cable snap. In the footage you can see the plane vanishing over the side then reappearing as it recovers.
Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Browning, Lt. Cmdr. Kellen Smith, and Lt. Matthew Halliwell were awarded the Armed Forces’ Air Medal earlier this month while aboard the Eisenhower.
The Copilot, Kellen Smith, stated, “”When we would normally be coming to a stop, we weren’t,” Smith said in a statement. “Our years of training kicked in and we reacted on instinct. I slapped back the ditching hatch (Hawkeyes do not have ejection seats) as we cleared the deck and began a deep settle (significant descent).”
“It was a bit of an eternity. But in that instant things just clicked. The training that we’ve done for years of flying, myself I’ve been flying for over 12 years now, we were able to hold our set attitude and Matt was able to expertly keep us climbing away and get us away from that water.”
They were only 10 feet from the water when they were able to gain control of the plane.
By Lorra B.