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Hawkeye hits parked Super Hornet’s missile during carrier ‘hook-skip bolter’

A Navy E-2C Hawkeye plane struck a captive air training missile attached to a parked F/A-18 Super Hornet while landing aboard the aircraft carrier Nimitz Aug. 23, Navy officials confirmed Friday.

No one in the Hawkeye or on the deck were injured in the mishap, according to Lt. Cmdr. Liza Dougherty, a Carrier Strike Group 11 spokeswoman.

It happened after the Hawkeye experienced a “hook-skip bolter,” where the hook of an aircraft landing on a carrier fails to catch the runway wires that stop the plane.

The mishap happened at about 4:30 p.m. local time while the carrier was underway in the Middle Eastern waters of U.S. 5th Fleet, she said in an email.

Dougherty said the incident remains under investigation and called the damage to both aircraft “minor.”

“All of which is currently being repaired in order to return the aircraft to full mission readiness,” Dougherty said.

“While the aircraft in question did sustain damage during the incident, Carrier Air Wing 17 and the Nimitz Strike Group remains fully mission capable,” she said.

The Naval Safety Center classified the incident as a “Class A” mishap, which involves more than $2.5 million in damages.

That botched landing is at least the second Class A mishap involving a Hawkeye in recent weeks.

Another Hawkeye crashed Aug. 31 off Virginia during a training flight in which the crew was able to safely bail out.

Official confirmation of the Hawkeye mishap comes in the same week that a Nimitz sailor went missing and is presumed dead.

A man overboard call went out on the carrier Sunday night for Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ian McKnight.

The Navy announced it had ended its search and rescue mission for the sailor on Tuesday.

[Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to accurately reflect the damage threshold for a Class A mishap.]

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