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May 05, 2009


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P51 Fan

Not to nitpick, but I thought the entire tails of the 332nd were completely red, not just the flaps as seen in the photo of the Mustang with the F-16? (the painting photo of the redtails doing their bomber escort, though, shows the 332nd in the full red tail, which I was taught to expect).

Chris Taylor

Well I figured I had to acknowledge my error since I was skeptical of the whole thing.

And I have absolutely no doubt the President was aware. You don't have 30-odd people (including at least one brigadier general) on multiple inter agency briefings over 3 months without this bubbling up in some form or another.

It's still possible there are photos of the two acft together. I would have liked a tighter formation, personally, because the F-16 is going to end up pretty small in a photo that has to capture a VC-25, an F-16D in echelon, and a wide expanse of the city skyline.

That said it would have been a wicked photo op if they'd announced it beforehand. Even if the object was to include the AL tail. Tuck it in close like an air show "Heritage Flight" pass, have it close to somewhere the civilians can take good shots, and you've got a priceless memento.

They turned a big plus into a big screaming negative by trying to keep it under wraps.

John Carmichael

Thanks for the confirmation Chris. I found it curious in some of the Videos I see the F-16 slide to the inside of the turn placing himself between the Statue of Liberty and the VC-25A, this is where I began to suspect that the Red Tail was to be included in the image.

I do not suspect it was to be a Hollywood stunt of sorts, prolly more of a planned photo gift. And with using the AL ANG bird in the image I suspected that a possible link between the admin and the Tuskegee Airmen was in part a thanks for all the turn out of the Tuskegee Airmen at the inauguration.

I'll take the word of your buddy about the 113th that it was a coincidence... but I reserve the right to be still somewhat skeptical that POTUS was ignorant of the entire event.

Thanks again for the addition.


Chris Taylor

I have confirmation from another Viper pilot who knows the 113FW pilot of the D-mod camera bird. It was a 187FW tail, but for not for any known Hollywood shoot, just logistics.

113FW didn't have a D-bird available at time of the shoot, so they borrowed one from AL ANG. Not that unusual as Guard units share and swap assets and personnel fairly regularly.

The other 16 wasn't a D-mod so it won't have any pics of the vermillion-tail + VC-25 together.


Dear readers,

I was surprised at the following from the FAA pdf:

"The Public Affairs posture for this effort is passive. No media or press releases are planned. Please direct all media inquiries to the FAA Air Traffic Security Coordinator at (202) 493-5107.
Due to the possibility of public concern regarding DOD aircraft flying at low levels, coordination with Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies, emergency operations centers and aviation units has been accomplished."

First you read that "The Public Affairs posture for this effort is passive. No media or press releases are planned"
But The Law knew! (And kept mum.)

Let me just say that the FAA has a funny idea of the words 'Public concern" and "Accomplished."

So much for priorities.

Tell me the USA still is a democracy, by and for the people and all that, please?


Boola Boola - J.Cas
I've looked at the pic above and others on line. The F-16 in tight w/ the VC-25 is AL ANG. Color & markings do not match any military T&E squadron.
Very nice idea to honor both, but very poorly executed. I doubt very much a White House military aide is the only one who/knew/approved this event. I feel sorry for the Col. being thrown under the bus by some Chicago-machine thug, his career is over.


Other than the extremely badly handled notification and the subsequent "need" for someone to blame, I don't see this as a bad idea in itself. Seems like two aircraft of historical significance in front of Lady Liberty is a good theme to me. We need some uplifting images these days. Too bad nothing seems to get done without drama.

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