Featherstone didn’t perform any kind of insane stunt like the super low flyby performed by Maverick in Top Gun to buzz the tower.
Taken on Jan. 23, 2020 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, the video in this post allegedly features the F/A-18 flyover which cost Lt. Col. Ralph Featherstone, the commanding officer (CO) of Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 (VMFA-225), his job.
The unit held a retirement ceremony the previous day marking the squadron’s final official flight for the two-seat F/A-18D it has flown since it was re-established in 1991.
VMFA-225 is currently making the transition from the F/A-18D Hornet to using the USMC new vertical takeoff fighter, the F-35B Lightning II.
The U.S. Marines Corps (USMC) said in a statement that Featherstone, who took command of VMFA-225 last April, was fired on Jan. 24 due to concerns about poor judgment.
Actually, an anonymous source told Marine Corps Times that the flight was lower and faster than was approved in the flight plan.
Honestly, we don’t think that Featherstone performed any kind of insane stunt like the super low flyby performed by Maverick in Top Gun to buzz the tower. Not only the flyover was hardly “unsafe,” but LtCol Featherstone was not even flying the plane, he was the back seater for the flyby.
Hence, we don’t think that Featherstone should have been fired for celebrating the Hornet with his squadron one last time during this special event.
According to his official Marine Corps biography on the unit’s site, Lt. Col. Featherstone was commissioned as a Marine Corps officer in 1999.
Featherstone’s awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Medal, the Outstanding Volunteer Medal, and seven Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.