Botched Landing on Aircraft Carrier Injures 8 Sailors

'They thought they were going to die'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2016 5:20 PM CDT
Botched Landing on Aircraft Carrier Injures 8 Sailors
A F18 Super Hornet prepares to land on the deck of the USS Eisenhower off the coast of Virginia last year.   (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A month after a "rare and terrifying" accident during an attempted landing on an aircraft carrier, one sailor remains hospitalized and three more are still recovering, the Navy Times reports. According to WTKR, an E-2C Hawkeye was attempting to land on the USS Eisenhower during training exercises 100 miles off the coast of Virginia. The plane's tail hook snagged an arresting cable, meant to help it land, but instead of slowing down, the plane sped down the runway and off the edge of the carrier. The heavy cable snapped, whipping across the carrier and hitting eight sailors. Injuries ranged from cuts and bruises, to a skull fracture, to broken legs. The sailor who remains hospitalized suffered a severed blood vessel and almost had his foot amputated.

The Hawkeye was able to pull up before it hit the ocean, but it was close. One sailor tells the Times the plane "had friggin' salt water on the bottom of it" it was so close to hitting the water. "They thought they were going to die," he says of the pilots. A Navy official tells ABC News what happened was "extremely rare." An arresting cable hasn't come loose during a landing in more than 10 years. An investigation has been launched to find out what went wrong. Normal flight operations on the USS Eisenhower resumed two days after the accident. (More aircraft carrier stories.)

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