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.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Harmon Rabb, Jr.
... Meg Austin
Tim Grimm ... Commander Dale Bishop
... Lieutenant Tess McKee (as Francia DiMase)
... Annie Pendry
... James Reid
... Lieutenant Stans
... Lt. Moore
... Corporal Martinez
... Lt. Lucas Pendry
... Sgt. Barnes
... Josh Pendry
... Lt. Parker (as Joe Miichael Burke)
Patrick Wild ... Lt. Cabrese
... 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

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Plot Keywords:

criminal justice | See All (1) »





Release Date:

4 November 1995 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 »


Lt. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.: If APTERN is flawed, finding the flaw will save lives. And that is our ultimate responsibility.
Lt. j.g. Meg Austin: [half-smiling] You sound like my dad.
Lt. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.: Uh oh. I'm in trouble when you start comparing me to your father.
Lt. j.g. Meg Austin: My brother?
Lt. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.: Even worse.
See more »


Edited from Top Gun (1986) See more »

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