Sailor for a Day, Part 2: The Trip to the Ship

Posted at 10:48 PM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 23:04:46-04

NORFOLK, Va. – In part two of FOX 17’s Sailor for a Day series, reporter Doug Reardon and photographer Eric Brefka make their way out to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was in the middle of some training operations almost 100 miles off the coast.

To get there, the two would cram into a C-2 Greyhound, an aircraft the Navy has used to transport supplies, mail, and sailors for decades.

Even as big as the carrier is, landing a plane on the ship is risky business – but the Navy has it down to a science. On the back of every plane capable of landing on board, there’s a device called a tail hook. Essentially a giant claw, the hook deploys when the plane is set to land, and drags along the deck as it approaches, catching one of four massive cables laid out along the deck. This is called an “arrested landing,” and it’s bumpier than it looks.

The cables are strong enough to hold those planes, even as they push to full throttle. Should one of the aircraft miss the wires, they would have to take right back off.

Watch as Doug and Eric make their way out to sea, and find out for themselves how difficult these arrested landings are. To see the first installment in the Sailor for a Day series, click here.