Military Aviation

USMC T-34C pilot under investigation for drawing penis in the skies over California

The T-34C flew the unusual path over Salton Sea, an isolated location southeast of Palm Springs

A U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) T-34C pilot from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101) is under investigation after it was revealed that his flight path resembles a penis while over the Salton Sea, California on Oct. 23, 2018.

Aircraft Spots, a Twitter account that documents military flights noted the airplane’s unusual path over California’s Salton Sea, an isolated location southeast of Palm Springs. The account tweeted photos appearing to show a flight path that deviated from a straight line into an intricate, obscene shape.

“Somebody needs to have a word” with the pilot, the account joked.

Initially identified as a Navy flight, the account later corrected the record to say the airplane belonged to the Marine Corps.

Maj. Josef Patterson, spokesman for 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, told NBC 7 San Diego that the Marine Corps would determine possible disciplinary action after the investigation was completed.

“Obscene or inappropriate actions, flight or not, do not reflect the core values we hold as Marines,” he pointed out.

According to USA Today, some see multiple offending shapes in the flight path. The San Francisco Chronicle also notes that the shapes would not have been visible to those on the ground and could likely only have been revealed by flight-tracking programs.

A similar incident last year in Washington state gained national attention when U.S. Navy officials confirmed one of its EA-18G electronic attack aircraft was involved in skywriting a figure of a penis. In that case, the offending shape was visible with the naked eye. However the U.S Navy Growler crew that made penis “skydrawing” last year has been given administrative punishment.

Photo credit: @AircraftSpots

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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