A Navy pilot and his radar-intercept officer (RIO) die in a crash of an F-14 Tomcat while using a new Air Force fly-by-wire navigation system; the pilot was a friend and shipmate of Harm. Harm and Meg investigate. The vendor of the system insists that the cause of the crash was a pilot error; Harm believes otherwise. While Harm duplicates the fatal flight, he tries to induce an error by the system while flying a simulator, then the does so while flying a Tomcat; he and Meg eventually discover the cause. Harm also comforts the widow and her son.
Did You Know?
When getting ready to test Aptern, Harm is told to do five traps on the America. USS America (CV-66) was decommissioned Aug. 9, 1996, about one year after this episode aired. On 14 May, 2005, ex-USS America was sunk after approximately four weeks of live fire testing to determine design features of future aircraft carriers to improve their survivability. See more
Just after the crash, as Mirimar tell Lt. McKee to abort and climb to Angels 1-5, the name on her helmet is reversed. See more
Commander Dale Bishop
People make mistakes. A man shouldn't have to risk losing his career for one mistake.
Lt. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.
No, sir. If I can't prove it wasn't pilot error, Mr. Reid will make public what he believes to be true. It's hard enough for a boy to grow up without his father. He shouldn't have to be ashamed of him, too.
References Fate Is the Hunter