S-3 Viking Stuck Wheel

It had been a long night, and now it was getting longer. The Viking was on a night training flight with only the pilot and navigator. While preparing for landing, the nose gear failed to extend. After following all standard NATOPS procedures to no avail, it was decided to try a hard bounce on the main gear to try to knock the nose gear loose. The pilot brought the plane in and struck the deck a little harder than planned, the nose rotated down and struck the deck. With precious airspeed being bled off in a trail of sparks across the deck, the pilot initiated ejection. The flight deck crews watched the night being torn by sparks and rockets for a few brilliant seconds and then the plane was gone off the angle deck. The flight deck crew raced into action to recover the parachuting personnel (who also included two extra 'Fritz' crewmembers, weights attached to the unused ejection seats to give the empty seats the correct trajectory as they fired). "705 to Air Boss" rattled out of the speakers in Pri-Fly. "Stand by 705, we have an emergency!" replied the Air Boss gruffly.

"No sir, you don't understand" the speakers rattled again " I AM your emergency!!" The voice belonged to the pilot of the Viking who had been quite surprised to see all the other seats in the Viking eject without him! As the plane fell off the angle deck he had managed to get the plane under control and headed away from the carrier, but in the confusion of the ejections nobody had noticed the plane hadn't crashed. He later managed to get the plane safely down on the deck.