Friday, September 22, 2006

Goodbye Tomcat!

On Wednesday the last of the F-14 Tomcats still in service were being flown at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia as part of the goodbye ceremonies

On Wednesday the last of the F-14 Tomcats still in service were being flown at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia as part of the goodbye ceremonies The US Navy began a series of ceremonies on Thursday to celebrate the F-14, as the pilot favourite that served on aircraft carriers for three decades heads into retirement.

The last of the F-14 Tomcats still in service were being flown at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia as part of the goodbye ceremonies that would last into Friday, a Navy spokeswoman said.

The fighter jet was made famous by the 1986 film Top Gun starring Tom Cruise, but was more recognized by pilots for its speed, versatility and ability to carry a broad array of weapons.

First flown in 1970 and introduced to the Navy’s fleet in the middle of that decade, F-14s were involved in confrontations with Libya and saw action in Lebanon, the first Gulf War, the Bosnian wars, Afghanistan and the second war with Iraq.

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2 comments:

  1. Ok. I gotta get this off my chest first. The F-14 Tomcat isa peice of shit! I've worked on them and they suck. The only thing I ever liked about the F-14 was it's "Pounce" configuration for Cat' launches. It drops the nose gear all the way down and gives it a very cool look.

    Why do I hate on the Tomcat? Cause I worked on A-6E's most of my naval career. Now THAT's a jet!

    Ok. So maybe I'm bias. Alright I am.

    There is however one thing that will make me respect the F-14 and her crewmen, and thats if she can replicate the Intruder's final flight.

    When they decommissioned the A-6E, the final squadron's final flight was a beautiful thing. Why, you might ask?

    As anyone who's ever worked on ANY aircraft in the Navy (even those pussies that work on FA-18s) will tell you, it's rare to have all your aircraft ready to fly. There is almost always at least one "hanger queen" in the lot. And the older the jet, the more likely a jet or two will be down.

    VA-75 The Sunday Punchers were the last squadron to fly the A-6E, and for this last flight their crew were able to get all 16 of their jets up and in the air for the first time in a very long time. There is an incredible picture (that unfortunately I can't find) of them flying in formation over their carier. I get goose bumps from thinking about it.

    If they were able to do something similar for the F-14's final flight then they have my respect and I feel for their loss.

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  2. I miss VA Beach. Oceania and the main base were so cool. I got to spend some time with a flight mechanic with the Black Aces and got all up inside a live Tomcat that was just flown that day. That blew my mind and I saw them tore apart in various stages.

    They're an amazing plane for sure.

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