F-14 Tomcat made its final public appearance - Page 4

June 14th, 2006  
Originally Posted by Easy-8
Rest in Peace F-14 tomcat we will all mess you.

And the F-15 will be joining it shortly.
Brand new Korean F-15K crashed; two pilots killed

Boeing official in South Korea's to help probe into fighter jet crash

Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea - A Boeing Co. official was in South Korea Friday to help investigate the crash of a Boeing-built fighter jet earlier this week.

Stephen Winkler, director of Boeing's St. Louis-based F-15 Production Program, will join local investigators to determine the cause of Wednesday's crash of an F-15K jet off the country's southeast coast.

The aircraft was on a routine night training flight at the time of the crash that killed the two officers aboard.

"The F-15K is an advanced derivative of the F-15E, and the F-15E is the safest fighter in the history of U.S. Air Force," Winkler said. "It has less losses per hundred thousand flight hours than any fighter in the history of the United States Air Force."

The F-15K is the most advanced of South Korea's fighters.

Under what is dubbed as the "next-generation fighter jet" program, the country plans to buy 40 F-15K jets by 2008. The first four were delivered last year.

The air force said its plan to introduce more of the jets is currently unchanged. But it also hinted at the possibility of altering the plan later, saying "necessary measures" may be taken "depending on the investigation's outcome."

South Korea's three other F-15K jets were grounded pending the probe.

South Korean media said air force officials were paying close attention to the last radio communication that the ill-fated jet had with others involved in the training.

Newspapers said that the jet that crashed sent a radio message saying "mission stopped" to other fighters before disappearing from radar, but that it was unclear what it meant, because such message is used in both normal and abnormal situations.

Air force officials refused to comment, saying they will not confirm anything until the investigation is completed.
September 24th, 2006  

F-14 Tomcat Makes Last Flight

Associated Press | September 23, 2006

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The F-14 Tomcat, the dogfighting Cold War fighter jet immortalized in the movie "Top Gun," made its ceremonial final flight Friday in a display that suggested the timing was right for retirement.

Pilot Lt. Cmdr. David Faehnle and radar intercept officer Lt. Cmdr. Robert Gentry gave a final salute from inside their cockpit before aircraft no. 102 taxied down the runway and out of sight at Oceana Naval Air Station.

The plane that actually took off as thousands applauded and whistled, however, was aircraft no. 107, with Lt. Cmdr. Chris Richard at the controls and intercept officer Lt. Mike Petronis in the back seat.

The first jet had mechanical problems - "a common occurrence with the F-14," said Mike Maus, a Navy spokesman. The second jet had been on standby just in case.

Before the flight, Adm. John Nathman, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command and a former F-14 pilot, said the retiring jet with the moveable, swept-back wings was "sometimes tough to fly" and tough to fix - but it was resilient.

"The legacy of this aircraft is not the 'Top Gun' movie," Nathman said. "The legacy is found in America's commitment to win the Cold War."

Built by what was then Grumman Aircraft Corp., the F-14 joined the Navy fleet in 1972 and originally was intended to defend U.S. aircraft carriers from Soviet bombers carrying long-range cruise missiles.

Its dogfighting capabilities were glamorized in the 1986 film "Top Gun," starring Tom Cruise, but the need for such aerial feats dropped steeply when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
The Navy retooled the F-14 as a ground-attack jet, and it dropped bombs over Bosnia and Kosovo in the late 1990s, and helped support ground troops in Iraq as recently as this year.

The jet's replacement is the F/A-18 Super Hornet attack fighter. The Navy's last 22 F-14 aircraft deployed came home to Oceana in March, but one squadron continued to flying the jets until this month.

Gentry likened retiring the Tomcat to "losing a member of the family."

"It's a bittersweet moment to look and realize that pretty soon you won't be flying that aircraft," he said. "There are few aircraft that elicit such a strong bond between the air crew and the maintainers and the people who build them."

About 3,000 guests - mainly former aviators, mechanics, suppliers and builders - were on hand for the jet's official retirement. The last flying F-14s will go to museums such as the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond, which received one last week.

Mike Boehme, the museum's executive director, expects the F-14 to be a big draw. "There's a certain mystique about it," he said.

September 24th, 2006  
It bought me a tear.....It was my favorite plane......

So, what are we going to do with them????
September 24th, 2006  
Mothball them or sell them to "allies" I suppose. I guess they'll be out there by the acres and acres of B-52's.
September 24th, 2006  
I watched it with sadness on CNN
September 24th, 2006  
Team Infidel
Yeah, that really sucks.
September 25th, 2006  
Originally Posted by Fox
It bought me a tear.....It was my favorite plane......

So, what are we going to do with them????
When I was little I wanted to be a F-14 pilot. It was probably what got me intrested in the military.
September 26th, 2006  
I bet all the Tomcatters of the 11th Carrier group that are still around are weeping right now, I know I am...
March 2nd, 2007  
R.I.P. F-14. We will miss you.
December 3rd, 2014  
We will use this monster forever, ViVa IRIAF.