Image Copyright: Andrew Schneider/U.S. Navy
By Mike Hixenbaugh
Copyright: The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot
The aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower was finally in sight.
The pilot of the F/A-18 Super Hornet hurriedly flipped switches and pushed levers. The aviator in the backseat leaned forward, straining to see the flight deck floating in the distance. The jet’s right engine had locked up, its landing gear jammed, the main fuel tank almost empty.
At nearly 350 mph, the Super Hornet hurtled over the warm waters of the North Arabian Sea last April. The pilot had made some tough decisions that day; several hadn’t gone his way.