This was too weird to wait for Linkzookery on Friday:
An investigation was underway last night after what is believed to be a large part of the structure of the US Navy fighter jet was found washed up yesterday by a retired Aer Lingus pilot.
The piece, about the size of a family car, is thought to be one of the tail fins from a twin-tail F-14 Tomcat — the jet featured in the movie Top Gun.
Why do news items always call the the F-14 the “jet featured in the movie Top Gun”?
Retired Aer Lingus captain Charlie Coughlan made the amazing discovery at Long Strand at Owenahincha, near Rosscarbery.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” he said. “The paint is still perfect. It appears to have broken off the aircraft. I could see a spar inside — it’s cracked, not cut.”
The debris, which measures eight feet by four feet, is military grey and features a flying skeleton, the insignia of VF-101 squadron — also known as the Grim Reapers — who up until recently were the US Navy’s F-14 training squad.
“It is quite a substantial piece; you would think it would have sunk but the inside is layered with honeycomb material and that could have made it buoyant,” said Mr Coughlan.
“There are no barnacles on it, so I would say it has only been in the water a few months.”
Doesn’t seem to Murdoc that discovering which plane this stabilizer belonged to will be too difficult.
The source of the data in the table is Home of M.A.T.S. There are also few Tomcat losses that the site doesn’t have Bureau Numbers for, but this piece of wreckage on the Irish shore almost certainly belongs to one of these fifteen Cats.
Obviously, then, it’s been in the water more than a “few months”.
I also notice that two times there are two aircraft lost on the same day. Collisions? A quick google turns up nothing. If anyone has any info toss it in Murdoc’s direction.