In 1971, one pilot was extremely lucky to make it through a wild wave that appeared directly in his path during takeoff. With no deck left to stop he has no option but to fly through the wall of water. The USS Ticonderoga was pitching heavily and caused some ridiculous obstacles for the launch crew. The plane disappears in the wave for a few seconds that feel like an eternity before pulling up and taking flight again. The pilot and co-pilot hatches of the S2 Tracker were open according to Tom Sanders, the squadron LSO observing the launch from the platform. Pilot LCDR Guy Wilcox was soaked, but OK and managed to return the aircraft to San Francisco where it was taken out of service.