TWO sailors cheated death by inches after they walked into the path of a F/A-18 Super Hornet attempting to land on the USS George Washington aircraft carrier.
Just seconds before hitting the flight deck the fighter jet is alerted to the men and the pilot pulls up sharply to abort – flying just inches above the sailors' heads.
The men were checking cables on the floor of the flightdeck and did not look up.
Cmdr. Pauline Storum, spokeswoman for the Pacific Fleet’s naval air forces said the aircraft had not been cleared to land but was still amazed the men did not check.
She added: “The blinking “F” in the video indicated that the deck was “foul,” meaning that aircraft were not clear to land. The sailors saw the red foul light before walking on to the deck. However, they never looked around.
“It’s like crossing the street. They didn’t look left and right beforehand. The aircraft was being waved off, which happens all the time …. for a variety of reasons.”
The sailors were performing a mandatory check of the cross-deck pendant, which is a flexible cable wired across the flight deck. Fighter planes land on carriers by catching the cable with an arresting hook.
“No one was injured, no equipment was damaged, and we don’t punish sailors for honest mistakes,” Storum added in a written statement.
The USS George Washington is currently at sea as part of a regularly scheduled deployment. The ship left Yokosuka Naval Base on Sept. 19 and arrived at a port visit in South Korea a few days after the incident.
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