Four aircraft damaged in carrier ‘bolter’ mishap

By: Geoff Ziezulewicz

An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye plane missed its cable while attempting to land on an aircraft carrier earlier this month and damaged four aircraft on the deck in the process, Navy officials confirmed this week.

The incident took placed at about 7:40 p.m. Aug. 9 on the Abraham Lincoln as it sailed the Arabian Sea, according to U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Joshua Frey.

Navy records indicate the aircraft was in the midst of a “bolter,” where a plane attempting an arrested landing on an aircraft carrier touches down but fails to snag the cable and stop, forcing the pilot to take off again at full throttle, come back around and attempt another landing.

The plane “made slight contact” with two aircraft on the deck and debris from the impact then struck another pair of planes “causing minor damage,” Frey said in an email to Navy Times.

The Hawkeye landed safely at another location and Frey said there were no injuries.

“All aircraft involved are currently being repaired in order to return the aircraft to mission readiness,” he said.

Citing the ongoing probe, Frey declined to elaborate on where the Hawkeye eventually landed or other details about the accident, except to note that the other damaged aircraft were F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets.

The Navy classified the incident as a “Class A” mishap, which involves property damage of $2 million or more.

It is the eighth Class A aviation accident since the federal fiscal year began on Oct. 1.

Known for the big radar rotodome on its upper fuselage, the Hawkeye is the sea service’s battle management and airborne early warning, command and control aircraft.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group arrived in the region in May during rising tensions with Iran.

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