Naval Aircraft Accidents During Launch and Recovery Operations

LCD-79-432: Published: Sep 24, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1979.

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Over the past 5.5 years, 730 accidents have occurred involving naval airplanes. These accidents have resulted in substantial aircraft damage, aircraft losses, and some crew fatalities. There was reason to believe that some of the crashes were caused by defects in the catapult and arresting-gear equipment.

Not all accidents occurred during carrier operations, and only 29 of the accidents were associated with launch and recovery phases of carrier air operations. Those associated with carrier air operations have been attributed to one or more of the following: capacity selector valve system malfunction; aircraft nose gear launch bar misalignment; damaged or inoperable arresting gear; and human error by aircraft crewmembers or equipment operators aboard the carriers.

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