JAG (1995–2005)

Pilot Error 

Two Naval aviators die in a crash of an F-14 while using a new fly-by-wire navigation system. Harm and Meg investigate. The vendor of the system blames the pilot. Harm flies both a simulator and a Tomcat; he and Meg discover the cause.


Les Landau


Donald P. Bellisario (created by), Jack Orman (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David James Elliott ... Harmon Rabb, Jr.
Tracey Needham ... Meg Austin
Tim Grimm Tim Grimm ... Commander Dale Bishop
Francia Dimase ... Lieutenant Tess McKee (as Francia DiMase)
Daphne Ashbrook ... Annie Pendry
Ken Lerner ... James Reid
Steve Rankin ... Lieutenant Stans
Tim Kelleher ... Lt. Moore
Tim Perez ... Corporal Martinez
Timothy Dale Agee ... Lt. Lucas Pendry
Christopher Wiehl ... Sgt. Barnes
Will Rothhaar ... Josh Pendry
Joe Michael Burke ... Lt. Parker (as Joe Miichael Burke)
Patrick Wild Patrick Wild ... Lt. Cabrese
Eric Scott Woods ... Lt. Stewart Marcus


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. Written by DocRushing

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

criminal justice | See All (1) »







Release Date:

4 November 1995 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 »


Josh Pendry: Did you fly with my daddy?
Lt. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.: A long time ago.
Josh Pendry: He was the best, wasn't he?
Lt. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.: Yes, he was.
Josh Pendry: Why did he crash?
Lt. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.: I don't know, Josh. But I'm gonna find out.
See more »


Edited from Top Gun (1986) See more »

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