During the first Gulf War we had an F18 land one evening and after disengaging the wire started to taxi to it's parking spot. For some reason when he hit the brakes to stop there were none and the plane made a bee line for the side. Both the pilot and navigator ejected with the plane setting on deck. Word was that both said there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in this world as scary or as thrilling all at the same time as having a rocket go off under your a$$ and sending you several hundered feet in the air in a split second. Both of the guys shoots popped and everything worked just like it should, and both got lucky enough to land back on the deck, even though one did catch a gust and get pulled a little bit before the deck crew could grab him and keep him from going over the side. The plane, on the other hand, wound up stuck on the walkways at the intersection of the main deck and the angle deck. I've actually got a video of the demise of the plane where they brought out the deck crane, hooked the tail, and unceromoniously tipped it on over into the water. Given that the plane this happened to was one of the first back on board there was still a whole flight of planes in the air coming back and having somewhere for them to land was more important than just the one...
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