Today we will pay a Tribute to Mighty F-14 Tomcat – Tomcat Aircraft carrier Action
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. Tomcat served more than 34 years during that tenure the F-14 Tomcat transformed from analog fighter to digital precision attack platform.
In addition, The Tomcat came in three different models: A, B, and D. with two
Read-more: A Tribute to Lt. Kara Spears Hultgreen First female Naval aviator Died in F-14 Tomcat crash
F-14 Tomcat Cockpit view flying
Initially, tomcat used Pratt and Whitney TF-30 engine that have low thrust. So the required the pilot to run the afterburner when launching from the carrier later these engines was replaced by General Electric F-110 engines
F-14 Tomcat Scenes from “The Final Countdown” HD Part1
The F-14 had its first kills in U.S. Navy on 19 August 1981 in the Gulf of Sidra incident. In that incident, Two F-14s from VF-41 Black Aces were engaged by two Libyan Su-22 “Fitters”
Furthermore both Su-22 was shot down Wing RIO Lt. Jim Anderson, Lead pilot Cdr. Hank Kleeman, Wing pilot Lt. Larry Muczynski and Lead RIO Lt. Dave Venlet was flying F-14s
on 4 January 1989,U.S. Navy F-14s once again came head to head with the russian fighter jets but this thime they was against MIG-23 “Floggers” .Both migs were shot down and the incident is known as second Gulf of Sidra incident
Furthermore, Iranian ace Jalil Zandi shot down 11 Iraqi aircraft during the Iran–Iraq War, which makes him the most successful F-14 pilot by far.
on 21 January 1991, The U.S. Navy suffered its only F-14 loss from the enemy action when BuNo 161430, an F-14A upgraded to an F-14A+, from VF-103 was shot down by an SA-2 surface-to-air missile while on an escort mission near Al Asad airbase in Iraq. Both crews survived ejection with the pilot being rescued by USAF Special Operation Forces.
The F-14 also achieved its final kill in US service, a Mi-8 “Hip” helicopter, with an AIM-9 Sidewinder.
During the “Shootdown,” I was flying an A6E TRAM loaded with 4 Rockeyes and two AIM 9L. We were bird dogging a Libyan Wadi which was carrying 4 Exocet missiles. We heard the entire encounter on our radio. When we heard the confirmed “kills,” we were ecstatic, cheering, slapping each other in the cockpit. At this point, we fully expected that the Wadi would try and launch their Exocet’s at the Nimitz. Of course my CO relieved me on station (Senior officers looking for “Silver Star Country” are known to do this). I happened to trap before CDR Kleeman and Music. If I remember right, both were so pumped that they boltered. I was fairly good friends with both Larry (We were both LSO’s) and Jim Anderson. Jim and I were always playing pranks on each other. When Music trapped and was tied down, it was a scene out of the movie “Topgun.” In fact, THEY WERE Topgun! I was one of the first to congratulate Larry and Jim. That was the last time that I saw both of them for several years. With the exception of Henry Kleeman, they took them off of the ship for PR purposes (Some guys will do anything to end a cruise early!). CDR Kleeman continued on as VF41 CO.
A few years later, Jim Anderson was killed in a horrible ski accident and Henry Kleeman was killed flying FA18’s.
I was “Mr. Airline” and accepted orders flying C9’s out of Norfolk. It was to my great surprise to hear that Music got out of the Navy and he too was looking for an airline job. Larry got hired at an upstart airline and got me hired there too. I moved on to another major airline and so did Larry.
What hasn’t been said about Larry is that he was a USNA football hero. He also has the looks of Pierce Brosnan. He was being groomed for the Blue Angels and, again, it was a big surprise when he got out of the Navy.
What also hasn’t been said is that our pilot year group(s) were considered critical because during these particular FY, they hired very few pilots. The point being is that during years from about 1979 through about 1981 only the best of the best of the best were awarded pilot slots and many of those candidates were eliminated along the way. Because of this, most of the pilots that I served with were the cream of the crop and became astronauts, Top Gun instructors, Blue Angels, and most of us were promoted to Captain (06). A couple of guys were promoted to Rear Admiral. Some got over 1,000 traps. My promotion to captain was at the friendly skies! Thanks for listening! Dan C.