Synopsis: On a secret mission to rescue 52 hostages in Iran, Operation Credible Sport was created. The project consisted of a modified Lockheed C-130 Hercules and developed so that it would be able to land on a runway as short as a football field. In order to shorten the landing distance, the engineers retrofit the planes with rockets.
These rockets slow the planes as it lands and provide extra propulsion upon take-off.
During training in October 1980, just days before the surgical operation, "Operation Credible Sport" derailed.As the plane came in for landing, the pilot mistakenly fired the rocket before the wheels touch-down. The plane loses lift and slams in the tarmac.
For illustration purposes, here is a short video summarizing the event: Credible Sport Test YMC 130 H
Now, technology has come a long way since the 80's; avionics have greatly improved and the aviation industry even came up with the fastest transistor ever-created in 2009 thanks to Northrop Grumman.
That being said, would it be possible to revive this project and allow an automatic firing of the rockets by a computer system rather than by a manual control of the pilots(given that it was human factor that doomed it to failure in the beginning)?