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Tailhook Breaks Off F-14 During Carrier Landing

In 2002, an F-14 crew had a carrier landing they didn't expect. Their tailhook caught the wire on touchdown, and then broke off the plane. As you can see in the second video, the plane goes below the deck with the afterburners lit, and the pilot and RIO eject. Fortunately, both of them made it out alive.

Metallurgical analysis of the tailhook found that an aluminum stripping process used during rework on the tailhook caused damage, and ultimately, failure of the hook.

Here's Another Angle - F-14 Leaves The Flight Deck And Pilot/RIO Eject

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Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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