My Logbook: First 1,000 F-14 Flight Hours...with VF-24 One-Year Activity Summary at Bottom
The table and chart below summarize my first 1,000 F-14 flight hours. I finished the F-14 RAG with 91.2 hours, and got the remainder in 29 months with my first squadron VF-24. It was a fairly steady pace of flying, and a lot of experience in a short time. This may appear strange if you've never thought of "flight hours," but private pilots and other aviation-experienced people should be able to relate. The time that RIOs logged was "Special Crew Time."
|Month - Year||Monthly Flights||Cumulative Flights||Monthly Hours||Cumulative Hours||Comments|
Chart that summarizes the table above:
Upon logging 1,000 hours, the aviator received a patch and commemorative plaque from Grumman. Here's my plaque (actual size is approx 7" wide by 9" high). By the way, when I hung up my spurs I'd logged 2,499.7 hours flight time as an F-14 Tomcat RIO, and 688 carrier landings. I also logged 461.8 flight hours in the F-5F Tiger II, and roughly 130 hours in the T-2, T-39, and TA-4 combined.
Training Activities Over 12 Months for F-14 Squadron VF-24 "The Fighting Renegades"
In 1983 Commander Bertsch, VF-24 CO, wanted to show new personnel how busy the squadron was over the preceding year so he had the Ops Dept prepare the following list. This gives a good idea of the variety of great training and flying events a typical Tomcat squadron would do in one year. I've added comments to a few items....
15-28 July: FLEETEX 1-82: Fleet Exercise, deploy aboard USS Constellation
16-28 August: COLONEL USHER exercise, deploy aboard USS Constellation
7-24 September: TAP 1: Turnaround Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM) Program #1
4-7 October: Constant Peg (that is all I will say; if you want to know more, Google this one)
18-29 October: Air-to-air gunnery flights
6-20 November: Red Flag exercise, Nellis AFB (I did not attend, having recently completed Topgun)
6-10 December: Host a USAF F-15 squadron visit to Miramar
8-17 December: Exercise Rising Fighter (I participated in this, and it was great! The story will be included in my book BEFORE TOPGUN DAYS.)
Various dates: Intercepts of SR-71s (I missed these...unfortunately)
13-17 December: Fleet Air Superiority Training (FAST -- see Glossary)
4-14 January: Air-to-air gunnery flights and "High Noon" competition
17 January-7 February: FFARP: Fleet Fighter ACM Readiness Program and "Fighter Derby" competition
15-10 February: Carrier qualification (CQ) aboard USS Ranger
26 February-7 March: Airwing weapons detachment, NAS Fallon
18 March-1 April: REFTRA: Refresher Training aboard USS Ranger
12-22 March: Underway training operations aboard USS Ranger
28 April-20 May: READIEX: readiness exercise aboard USS Ranger
7-14 Jun: ORE: Operational readiness Exercise aboard USS Ranger
Note: One month later, 15 July 1983, VF-24 began a 7-month deployment aboard USS Ranger.