Harrier Pilot Lands Aircraft on a Stool

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Mahoney had a problem on June 7. His front landing gear had malfunctioned and he still needed to land his AV-8B Harrier on the flight deck of the USS Bataan.

In the video, Mahoney explains the process he went through with the crew to get the Harrier back on the deck. As you can see, a stool is placed on the deck and Mahoney guides the Harrier’s nose onto the stool.

Mahoney said he was unable to see the stool while he was lowering the Harrier before the aircraft drops to the flight deck. Notice how there is no one on the flight deck during the landing.

The Bataan is operating in the 6th Fleet withMarine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aboard.

21 Comments on "Harrier Pilot Lands Aircraft on a Stool"

  1. what? no air bag?

  2. I heard elsewhere these "stools" are standard equipment. Just how often does a Harrier's front gear fail?

  3. Navy/Marine Corp, best d a m n aviators anywhere!

  4. Props to the Harrier Driver Nevertheless!

  5. In the 80's when I was working in Saudi Arabia when an F-15 stalled at 20,000 ft and the Saudi pilot punched out. He was praised for saving his own life. At the time I always thought that if it were an American pilot the consequences would have been different. Navy pilot's are so well trained in saving the aircraft up to the micro-second before the decision of defeat! Big Kudos'!!

  6. Crewmembers aboard the USS Bataan report a Marine Aviator who makes an odd clanking noise whenever he walks…

  7. Another reason why pilots that bring there aircraft aboard ships are the best aviators hands down.

  8. In Lt Col Darling's book about being in the White House bunker on 9/11, he tells the story about flying Cobras during the first Gulf war when a Cobra had its skids ripped off by ground contact.
    They made it back to the airport and ground crews managed to round up steel pallets and stack them so the Cobra could land by resting its stub wings on the pallets (otherwise it would have tipped and the main rotor would have hit the ground destroying the aircraft).
    Any landing you can walk away from…

  9. Richard Sloof | June 29, 2014 at 1:51 am | Reply

    Guy's that was some flying, I think the Lord was with the Pilot the whole way. Well done. Regards Richard.

  10. Wow top gun eat ur heart out! One brave dude!

  11. It was essentially your basic everyday Harrier landing. Only thing different is they typically come in on the side of the ship, then use the ships built-in landing light system to locate and scoot to the right and drop down.

    Of course everything could have gone wrong and he could've have missed and or and knocked the nose clear off. Good flying saved the aircraft.

    Cant' wait to hear the rest of the story from my nephew, who's a Major and harrier pilot with 3 MAW.

  12. Beltway Bandit | June 29, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Reply

    I bet $100 this was probably a Lance Corporal's idea.

  13. Bravo to the pilot. That’s a tough situation to be in.

  14. What about installing undercarriage camera so you can see where are you landing?

  15. Its hard enough to land on an aircraft carrier deck when everything is working, what he did is amazing, hell of a job Marine!!

  16. Had he used an F-35 he would gave been able to see through the aircraft and known where he was landing. This amazing Harrier pilot never saw the stool till after he got out of the plan. Awesome skill.

  17. Well Done!

  18. This is just amazing..What a pilot~~

  19. Bruce M Oliver Ret. | July 2, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Reply

    How many millions did he save?? He needs a bonus!!

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