Crippled Harrier lands on a stool

My Q: If they planned for this, why isn’t the stool larger?
Why not make it ten feet wide and six feet deep?
Why not make it a frickin webbing for the whole aircraft to lower itself into?

Because they just use the stool during maintenance when they are working on the front gear and need to support the nose.

Considering the pilot couldn’t even see the thing in the last 50 feet or whatever, that was a pretty amazing piece of flying (falling with style?)

Holy crapola, that’s amazing.

That is amazing, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Harrier and its pilot.

BiggerBoat, the pilot in the video says the mount was built “specifically for this reason”, which I took to mean a Harrier landing with a malfunctioning nose wheel.

And I love how the flight deck is completely abandoned. The pilot even comments on the video that he was so focused he didn’t even notice they’d cleared everyone from the flight deck. “Okay, fella, good luck, we’re all going below deck for now!”


That’s exactly my point.
Qudos to the pilot, who showed great composure under pressure, and to the guys and gals planning for such an event, but why not make the stool bigger?
Maybe there is a reason for this that I simply don’t get.

I stand corrected. Should have done more than skimmed the video :). I thought I had read in an article somewhere that they used a thingamajig that was intended for maintenance.

As for not making it bigger, no idea. Seems like something rectangular would give you a bunch more room for error. I guess these guys are just that good.

It may be as simple as that is the smallest it could be while being functional since space is a limited resource on a carrier.

Also, the “stool” really doesn’t need to be any bigger. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my many years playing flight simulators, it’s that an airplane will go exactly where the instruments tell you it’s going to go. That’s actually the entire principle of landing on an aircraft carrier, which is mostly a triumph of modern avionics.

Also, all landings are basically exercises in letting the aircraft fall to the ground. That Harrier pilot landing on the stool isn’t much different. It’s just that for most landings, that last step isn’t such a doozy. :)


You would have a very difficult time convincing a Navy pilot, excuse me, aviator of that.

That would be my guess as well. I was surprised to learn they even had something for that event (the thread title had me thinking bar stool). Good thing I wasn’t in charge. I probably would have had everyone fetch the pillows from their bunks and pile them all on the flight deck - followed by my wide-eyed stare of panic as the Harrier’s exhaust blasted them all out to sea.

Something close to that was already tried with mattresses but somehow they had forgotten about the Harrier’s two massive jet intakes.

"Basically, the nose gear wouldn’t come done. The Harrier has a backup system with a nitrogen bottle to blow the gear down in this event. Well, someone significantly outranking the pilot ordered him not to blow the gear down (which is the specified emergency procedure) b/c by his reasoning, if the nose gear didn’t come down, he was afraid the jet would break its back by having all that weight on the long nose of the T-bird. With that, he elected to gather mattresses and strap them down to support the extended nose, and you have the obvious result.

“Normally” a Harrier that can’t get it’s gear to come down will suck up the gear and do a vertical landing on the strakes/gun pack, they’ll jack the bird up, fix the gear, and it’s back to flying rather quickly. In this case, the motor was hilariously trashed with mattress springs protruding out and everything."

Bad Idea Jeans.

I wasn’t aware that the US used Harriers. I thought that was a British plane.

The Marines do.

The Brits actually sold all of their harriers to to the Corp. It was in the midst of the austerity slash and burn.

Just to clarify, the Marines have been using Harrier IIs jointly developed by McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace (now Boeing and BAE Systems) for many years. In 2011 the Brits sold their remaining 72 Harriers to the Corps. The F-35 is supposed to replace the Harrier in both the Marines and the Royal Navy eventually, but we know how well that’s going.

Right. The Marines use Harriers as ground attack aircraft and operate them from what they call amphibious assault ships. You can see an assault ship in the video in the OP. They have flight decks like carriers that launch Harriers and helicopters, but they also transport a Marine landing force below decks. I’ve seen them in operation off of Camp Pendleton, and they are huge. They’re the size of large WWII carriers and very versatile.

It’s a fantastic plane. I saw a British one demonstrated at an airshow in Denmark a couple of years ago, and it was simply amazing what a skilled pilot was able to do with the machine.

Heck, India flies Harriers these days. Off INS Viraat, which was once HMS Hermes (launched 1944), as well as Italy and Spain.

The coalition sold off the Harriers for less than the cost of a single F-35, and it’ll be 2020 as a minimum before we have a carrier flying again (and then the idiots at the Coalition turned down the F-35C for the B varient, because they made late design changes to the carriers which greatly complicated the CATOBAR conversion they’d originally been designed to take…I really can’t emphasise how idiotic their defence decisions have been. Even with the full CATOBAR capacity, it would have cost far less - as a total price - then your last (not first) Nimitz-class carrier…)

How can someone not know that the US Marines fly Harriers? Do you people not play Hornet Leader?


I know, right? This makes me want to PAWNCH someone.