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 Post subject: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:41 pm 
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So I spent the last few days in San Diego. Much of the time was along Mission Beach, on the north side of town. There was almost a constant stream of 4 T-34C's flying north up the beach line...maybe every 20 minutes or so. There were four distinct aircraft, because they each had different paint schemes. And each time the 'group' came by (at about 2 minutes between each plane), they came by in the same paint scheme order. They cycled along the coast all day long.

At first I thought this might be a civilian 'air combat' outfit for tourists. But on one of the days we went out to Coronado, and I saw that the planes were, in fact, landing at NAS North Island.....same four planes in the same four paint schemes.

Anybody who lives in the area familiar with what is going on there?

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:56 pm 
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I believe there is a flying club for military personnel that operates out of North Island. Perhaps the T-34's belong to them?


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:57 pm 
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I wouldn't expect a military flying club to have T-34Cs.
True, they must get get them cheap surplus, but the PT-6 s aren't cheap to operate or overhaul.

When I was a kid, the base flying club had recently surplused T-34As and I think they had a few L-17 Navions as well.

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:16 am 
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Those T-34's are based out of Lemoore. They are currently at NASNI for the summer giving rides to the Midshipmen. They did it last year as well. And since they are gone, we have 2 of the new T-6s from Whiting Field out here, covering the stuff that the -34s usually do here. I think the Navy owns the aircraft, but they are contract maintained. It used to be Sikorsky, and it still may be.

They have one that is painted up in a light blue and green color that they call it their Spitfire. All of the others are the dark blue. There may still be a white one in the pool from El Centro but I don't think so.

As far as -34s and flying clubs, here at Lemoore we have a T-34B that came from the flying club at Willow Grove a number of years ago. Its for use by the senior, more advanced members of the club because it is supposed to be more demanding to fly than the Piper.


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:06 am 
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Spook498 wrote:
Those T-34's are based out of Lemoore. They are currently at NASNI for the summer giving rides to the Midshipmen. They did it last year as well. And since they are gone, we have 2 of the new T-6s from Whiting Field out here, covering the stuff that the -34s usually do here. I think the Navy owns the aircraft, but they are contract maintained. It used to be Sikorsky, and it still may be.

They have one that is painted up in a light blue and green color that they call it their Spitfire. All of the others are the dark blue. There may still be a white one in the pool from El Centro but I don't think so.

As far as -34s and flying clubs, here at Lemoore we have a T-34B that came from the flying club at Willow Grove a number of years ago. Its for use by the senior, more advanced members of the club because it is supposed to be more demanding to fly than the Piper.




NAF El Centro still still operates a white and black T-34C also VMFAT-101 out at MCAS Miramar operates a few T-34C as well.

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:39 pm 
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The T-34Cs are giving familiarization flights to NROTC midshipman at the end of their sophomore year for their annual summer cruise out of North Island. When I did this as an NROTC instructor in 1966-69 the middies would come to Corpus Christi in three groups during the summer for three weeks. The other three weeks were spent at Camp Pennalton playing with the Marines and learning about amphibious landing in San Diego. Each NROTC midshipmen got three 1.5 hour flights in a T-34B. All the aviator NROTC instructors, supplemented by VT-1 instructors from Saufley Field were pressed into action with the T-34B supplied by VT-1. The Annapolis middies went to Pensacola for their aviation orientation cruise. Summer cruises were a big evolution from 1947 until the T-34Cs went away since they did not have an ejection seat. Now it is too hard and frankly too dangerous to put a middie in an aircraft with an ejection seat. They have fast hands no matter much time you tell them to not touch the switches.
The middies in the T-34B flew in the front seat and actually flew the aircraft. Some were naturals and I could talk them through a landing with me controlling the trottle and hand near the stick. Some did not want to do any aerobatics and a few got to use their barf bags.
Today they just sit in the back of the T-34Cs for a 1.5 hour flight and get to play with the controls.


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:23 pm 
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Most of the 34C's went to the boneyard. None, that I am aware of, will be offered for sale or end up as flying club airplanes, for those flying clubs still in operation. Source down in Corpus said that before and after the T-34C " sundown ", a lot of airplanes were cut up on site. Those in the boneyard will most likely be sold to foreign governments, which once they wear them out, could be sold to someone with deep pockets. Or, they'll sit in storage for all eternity.

On the subject of fast hands....what about the blackshoe Captain that ejected himself from the back seat of a Tomcat over the range in Fallon? :drink3:

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:11 am 
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Combatmech wrote:
Most of the 34C's went to the boneyard. None, that I am aware of, will be offered for sale or end up as flying club airplanes, for those flying clubs still in operation. Source down in Corpus said that before and after the T-34C " sundown ", a lot of airplanes were cut up on site. Those in the boneyard will most likely be sold to foreign governments, which once they wear them out, could be sold to someone with deep pockets. Or, they'll sit in storage for all eternity.


There was always a part of me that thought it would be fun to track down the airframe I soloed in down at Corpus (714) and restore it. The Turbo Weenie was a real fun plane to fly and I'd love to just go out and play in it.

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego T-34C's
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:47 pm 
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That sounds like fun. Only 34 time I have is in the A and the B. Would love to get my hands on a Charlie. What platform did you end up flying?

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