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Old 01-26-2007, 03:25 PM   #1
Pangloss62
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Aircraft of Imfamy

Recently I did some fieldwork down at Fort Barrancas, FL, and decided to stop at the National Museum of Naval Aviation located nearby. The Navy vets at the front desk were nice enough to set me up with a private tour of their flightline out behind the museum. Within seconds a golf cart pulled up and I was off.

After looking at dozens of historic aircraft from WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, my Navy vet guide pulled up to a strange looking jet and told me in hushed tones "That's the jet that George W. Bush landed on the Abraham Lincoln." We both looked at each other with an awkward "I guess we know what that plane is famous for" expression. We quickly drove off to look at some other aircraft.


Here's the pic I took of W's "Mission Accomplished" Jet



The plane is a S-3B Viking, W. was in the copilot's seat when he landed.

The whole drive back to Atlanta, I couldn't keep thinking about that jet, and how it ended up in a museum. What does it symbolize? How will it be interpreted? I felt compelled to go back in time, so I used "the Google" and perused "the Intenets (you know, that "series of tubes)," and found an article that kind of summed up the situation:

The Battle of Iraq is now one for the history books. In his May 1st speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, President Bush announced that our forces have prevailed, the major combat phase in Iraq is now complete, and the nation expresses its considerable gratitude for all the efforts of American and coalition troops.

Most telling was the author's take on what people want in a President:

Most Americans want their presidents to be real men -- forthright, resolute, reliable, uncomplicated guys that adeptly get the job done. These are the type of men that are not particularly verbose, but do exactly what they say they'll do. And, essentially, that's what President Bush is all about. Instinctively, people understand that complicated intellectuals, charismatic double-talkers, and pathological narcissists rife with personal foibles are not the makings of a great commander-in-chief. Americans expect solid leadership that can capably evaluate national security threats and effectively utilize military force when warranted. This is not complicated stuff.

http://www.enterstageright.com/archi...litaryteam.htm
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:42 PM   #2
MaggieL
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Your guide is misinformed, Bush did not do the landing and never claimed to. He did get some stick time enroute.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:51 PM   #3
Pangloss62
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Quote:
Your guide is misinformed, Bush did not do the landing and never claimed to. He did get some stick time enroute.
We both knew that W did not actually land the plane, but that's not really the point. Is it?
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:52 PM   #4
Griff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieL View Post
He did get some stick time enroute.
in the foot steps of Beestie I will practice restraint...
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:53 PM   #5
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Cool pics. Thanks for posting them.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:03 PM   #6
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Was this plane about to be retired anyway? Because Dubya and his PR trip to the Lincoln is *not* historic. Jesus, it wasn't even correct. You can arbitrarily declare that a conflict is over anytime you want, but if you don't bother convincing the opposition of that "fact", well...

So please tell me that they didn't retire this aircraft just because it was a part of a now-legendary spin effort?
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:27 PM   #7
MaggieL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangloss62 View Post
We both knew that W did not actually land the plane, but that's not really the point. Is it?
The point may be that saying "That's the jet that George W. Bush landed on the Abraham Lincoln" then turning around and saying "We both knew that W did not actually land the plane." may indeed be the point...imprecision in language.

As much as criticising the statements "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country." as being somehow untruthful.

"Major combat operations have ended" is certainly not "arbitrarily declaring that a conflict is over"...and whether you have "convinced the opposition of that 'fact'" is pretty much dependent on who "the opposition" is. Characterizing that as "spin" is...well..."spin".

In that context "the opposition" was viewed as Saddam & Co...and *that* conflict is very much over. Since then Al-Queda has managed to get the Shia and Sunnis at each others throats...(not a terribly difficult thing to do, considering) and making "securing and reconstructing that country" difficult in the extreme.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Elspode View Post
So please tell me that they didn't retire this aircraft just because it was a part of a now-legendary spin effort?
How about because it was flown by a sitting US president?

So far only Bush 41, Bush 43 and Eisenhower had pilot's licences, and Eisenhower gave up flying after WWII. A Stearman PT-17 flown by Bush 41 is in a museum in Florida.

I also recall seeing a TBM Avenger at EAA Oshkosh restored to the colors of the plane Bush 41 flew in WWII, although the original aircraft was lost during the war.
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieL View Post
How about because it was flown by a sitting US president?

So far only Bush 41, Bush 43 and Eisenhower had pilot's licences, and Eisenhower gave up flying after WWII. A Stearman PT-17 flown by Bush 41 is in a museum in Florida.

I also recall seeing a TBM Avenger at EAA Oshkosh restored to the colors of the plane Bush 41 flew in WWII, although the original aircraft was lost during the war.
Presidential Pair Pilot Picture

NSFR
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieL View Post
How about because it was flown by a sitting US president?

So far only Bush 41, Bush 43 and Eisenhower had pilot's licences, and Eisenhower gave up flying after WWII. A Stearman PT-17 flown by Bush 41 is in a museum in Florida.

I also recall seeing a TBM Avenger at EAA Oshkosh restored to the colors of the plane Bush 41 flew in WWII, although the original aircraft was lost during the war.
So, are you cool with this because:

A) You're a pilot
B) You're a fan of Bush
C) You think that "Mission Accomplished" was a valid and non PR-based statement
D) All or none of the above

Bush flies in Air Force One all the time. Should it be retired? What about all the other aircraft he flew during his illustrious military career? Are those headed for the Udvar-Hazy Center as we speak?

Unless this $27 Million aircraft was done with anyway (citation for cost here, because I know someone will challenge that), was that such a momentous occasion that it merits parking it on the aeronautical version of a scrapbook instead of letting it continue to serve the taxpayers?
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:55 PM   #11
Griff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieL View Post
He did get some stick time enroute.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieL View Post
How about because it was flown by a sitting US president?
Wow, that's a pretty roomy cockpit.
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:05 AM   #12
xoxoxoBruce
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Excellent find Pangloss, you are truly a professional as that S-3B embarrassment was hidden pretty well.
I imagine it'll go to W's library so the visitors will have something to look at.
Thank you.
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:39 AM   #13
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Hey, Bill had the jizz stained blue dress, Dubya will have the shit stained copilot's seat.
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Old 01-27-2007, 01:08 AM   #14
MaggieL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode View Post
Bush flies in Air Force One all the time. Should it be retired? What about all the other aircraft he flew during his illustrious military career? Are those headed for the Udvar-Hazy Center as we speak?
They's a difference between flying *in* a plane and *flying* a plane, or we'd all have ATP certificates. And I doubt any of the TX ANG's F-102 escaped the scrap heap long ago, even though none of them were flown by sitting presidents.


You researched the original $27M so thoroughly you may have missed this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
As the surviving S-3 airframes were forced into sundown, a Lockheed Martin full scale fatigue test was performed and extended the service life of the aircraft by approximately 11,000 hours. The current Navy plans call for the retirement of all Vikings by 2009 so new aircraft can be introduced to recapitalize the aging fleet inventory. Their missions will be spread among the other battlegroup fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. During FIDAE 2006 aerospace and defense trade show, the US Navy offered retired airframes to the navies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, with deliveries beginning in 2009.
Somehow I doubt Chile is about to pop $27M for any of these. Sure, the "unit cost" (presumably the entire program cost divided by the number of airframes delivered) was $27M...in 1974. There's a scrutload of S-3s sitting in the desert at Davis-Monthan, I hope you feel similar outrage about them not serving the taxpayers, too.
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Last edited by MaggieL; 01-27-2007 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 01-27-2007, 02:04 AM   #15
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What we see here are the dorks being dorky (and I question the necessity) and the good folk being good folk.

George Bush looks better in a flight suit than anyone who's posted here, and done more to walk the walk.

You can be a good man, or you can be an asshole: I'd suggest being a good man.
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