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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Plaque Thumbnail "...This 9 1/2"x12 1/2" wall plaque displays a portion of the flap indicator panel as removed from the cockpit console of Lockheed P-3A Orion BuNo. 150509. Flown by VP-31 for 12 years as a training aircraft, BuNo. 150509 (also served with VX-1, VP-65, VP-67, VP-68, and VP-69) clocked up 9,914 flying hours before being grounded after an icredible 29 years of service. At the time of its retirement, BuNo. 150509 (shown below) was the last A model flying with the Fleet, and is currently continuing to serve as a gate guard outside the flight operations building of Federal Airfield (formerly NAS Moffett Field, California). A 5 1/2" set of aluminum US Navy wings and a reproduction brass radio call plate are also attached..." [02AUG99]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...A couple of favorite pranks...On another pilot training flight, we were doing "unusual attitudes." This is where the pilot trainee wears a "hood" that obscures his view outside the aircraft. He is instructed to look down so he cannot see either the instruments or outside. The instructor and flight engineer then arrange to put the aircraft in some unusual flight attitude, and then turn it over to the student (now allowed to look at the instruments) so he can try to diagnose the attitude and return to normal flight. I was strapped into the radio op seat (P3-B) when the instructor told us to strap in for unusual attitudes. At some point I looked out the window and realized we were completely inverted, and entering an inverted dive! It didn't feel inverted, because the pilot was keeping about 1G towards the bottom of the aircraft. The student didn't have a clue, so the instructor took over at about 2K AGL and immediately entered the pattern at Salinas and did a touch and go. We dropped from 12KFT to 2KFT inverted while the student tried to figure it out. If I remember correctly, the P-3 was not rated to fly inverted because of gravity feed lubrication (hey, I was an AT - what do I know about that) but by keeping the 1G the pilot avoided that problem..." Contributed by ATN3 John Moore, USNR vpNOSPAM at tinyvital.com [18NOV2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...A couple of favorite pranks...Another time the pilot decided to have a little fun, and we dived down into Yosemite canyon from the east end, and flew down the canyon at about 200' AGL - startling campers. Then we flew up the slope of a pine covered mountain, still at treetop level and straight at a forest service lookout station. As we got closer, we could see the guy looking at us and getting pretty nervous. As we went by, the pilot put the plane on it's side, to clear the tower and also to hide the tail number, and then went right down the other slope at the same speed. Anyone who imagines a P-3 as a lumbering old bomber hasn't appreciated the enormous power and maneuverability those turboprops give it..." Contributed by ATN3 John Moore, USNR vpNOSPAM@tinyvital.com [18NOV2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...A couple of favorite pranks...On one pilot training flight (flight deck crew + radio op and aft observer), our aft observer fell asleep. The FE discovered this, and decided to teach him a lesson. He warned the rest of us to stay in our stations and not to answer the intercom. Then he opened the main hatch and went back to his position (hiding low in his seat). The poor observer woke up to the hatch flapping in the slipstream, and apparently nobody on the plane. He was afraid to get out of his seat with the door open. He learned his lesson and we had a good laugh. Another time, on a nav hop to Barbers Point, we had a bunch of non-P-3 passengers on board. Well into the night, the pilot, co-pilot, FE and myself strapped on parachutes and started tiptoing aft towards the hatch. Scared a few that time also..." Contributed by ATN3 John Moore, USNR vpNOSPAM at tinyvital.com [18NOV2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...We had one flight where our PPC was an ancient naval aviator (I believe Naval Aviator #7) also named Moore, who on his birthday flew a P-3 at Moffett. There was also a WAVE officer on that flight - also named Moore. We had three Moore's on that trip..." Contributed by ATN3 John Moore, USNR vpNOSPAM at tinyvital.com [18NOV2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...I don't know how long they used the name, but when I was there folks referred to VP-31 as "Moffett Crash and Dash" because of all the touch and go training landings. Our space-available travel was called "Banfield Airlilnes" based on our radio call sign..." Contributed by ATN3 John Moore, USNR vpNOSPAM at tinyvital.com [18NOV2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-31 Crew Patch ThumbnailCameraCNAP Patch Contributed by Donnie Ackerman, AWCS(AW)(Ret) ackro@bellsouth.net WEBSITE: http://users.southeast.net/~ackro3/

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-31 Crew Logo ThumbnailCameraVP-31 Crew Patch Contributed by Ernie Fillipucci afillipucci@bellsouth.net [23DEC98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-31 Logo ThumbnailCameraVP-31 Crew Patch
Contributed by Marco P.J. Borst p3orion@wxs.nl Website: http://p3orion.nl/index.html [22SEP98]

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