And this tidbit was posted on another forum (non-public access I'm afraid):
"Basically, the nose gear wouldn't come done. The Harrier has a backup system with a nitrogen bottle to blow the gear down in this event. Well, someone significantly outranking the pilot ordered him not to blow the gear down (which is the specified emergency procedure) b/c by his reasoning, if the nose gear didn't come down, he was afraid the jet would break its back by having all that weight on the long nose of the T-bird. With that, he elected to gather mattresses and strap them down to support the extended nose, and you have the obvious result.
"Normally" a Harrier that can't get it's gear to come down will suck up the gear and do a vertical landing on the strakes/gun pack, they'll jack the bird up, fix the gear, and it's back to flying rather quickly. In this case, the motor was hilariously trashed with mattress springs protruding out and everything."
Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 5269 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 13880 times:
Well the other thing that could have happened from this idiotic idea is that the mattresses could have easily caught fire from the very hot exhausts and set the whole aircraft on fire in a big inferno!!
HercPPMX From United States of America, joined May 2008, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 12388 times:
That happened at cherry point, NC a couple years ago, unless it's happened again. Thats what makes the presences of the "lawn darts" interesting you never know whats gonna go wrong next you just sort of know something is coming.
I wonder if this happened at the end of a training flight?