Emergency landings occur far more often in the USAF's fighter community than most would care to believe. Sometimes they are more precautionary in nature or due to environmental system issues or warning lights. But other times they occur due to far more invasive problems, with the loss of hydraulics or engine problems raising the stakes and prompting the pilot to drop the arresting hook for a barrier-assisted recovery.
One of these landings is shown below. I have no background on the circumstances surrounding it, but as you can see, something was very wrong. The Eagle comes into what appears to be RAF Lankenheath—also where the jet is from based on its tail code—at a high rate of descent, hook down, and smashes onto the runway. Then it bounces and floats for a long period of time. The Eagle's flaps are down, but we don't see any engine nozzle dilation. This could be due to a number of factors, including a total loss of power, we just don't know.
Here's the direct link to the twitter post in case it doesn't propagate automatically below.
Once the jet stabilizes on the runway and rolls out, it successfully makes a high-speed engagement with the BAK-12 arresting gear.
Sometimes it doesn't have to be pretty, you just have to be able to walk away from it and not turn the jet into a tumbling meteor of metal and fire.
And no, to the neophytes among us, the F-15 is not carrier capable. Most tactical jets have a deployable hook for just these types of emergencies.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com