Life on an aircraft carrier is hazardous enough- but to work on the deck is another story entirely.
At the heart of the action, the world’s most portable military air bases require a high level of professionalism in order to work atop a carrier deck- and situational awareness is key.
Such is the case in 2003, when an F/A-18 Hornet hooked an arresting cable during landing aboard the USS George Washington off the coast of Virginia, only to find that the cable had snapped.
Losing airspeed and unable to power back up in time, the pilot found himself peeling off the deck and plummeting into the water.
Remembering his training, the pilot ejected, sending him rocketing skyward and parachuting into the ocean, where a nearby Search & Rescue helicopter was faithfully standing by to pluck him from the drink.
At the same time the pilot learned of his misfortune, those working on the deck also found themselves in trouble.
With the cable moving towards him at over 100 MPH, one aircraft handler (identified by the yellow shirt in the video), managed to jump the cable twice, thanks to situational awareness and quick thinking.
Viewers note the sailor “superhuman” reflexes as he was able to dodge the cable without even seeing it coming, not once, but twice.
Seven other crew members, however, were not so lucky- all affected were injured, and three were hurt so badly that they had to be medically evacuated.
Following an investigation, the cause of failure was determined to be tied to the arresting engine within the cable system.
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