Title approaching Bermuda.

A flight of three aircraft approaching Bermuda.

 

The S-3 Viking is a carrier based aircraft designed for reconnaissance and antisubmarine warfare. It was built by Lockheed Aircraft and first delivered in 1974. I joined VS-24 in 1976 and in that year the squadron transitioned from the venerable S-2 propeller aircraft and as a squadron we went to San Diego and learned to fly and maintain the S-3 aircraft. Upon completion of training, we picked up our brand new airplanes from Lockheed's factory in Burbank, CA, and flew them back to Jacksonville, FL. There was still much training to do before starting our work-ups on the USS Nimitz. Each flight crew had a long list of skills to master and qualification flights to complete. There were oral exams for the Mission Commanders. The maintenance shops each had to train their people to perform numerous routine and repair maintenance tasks to strict quality control standards.

We not only had to fly the airplane, we had to perform its mission. Submarine time was precious, so when we were awarded a week to work with a submarine off of Bermuda, we jumped at the opportunity. We flew three airplanes to the island and planned to cycle the crews through an extensive series of day and night operations. it was fabulous training for both flight crews and our maintenance team.

 

Coming over the shoreline.

Feet dry as we cross the shoreline of Bermuda.

 

Getting ready for the break.

As we pass over the airfield, we get ready for the break.

 

On approach to Bermuda.

Turning final for Bermuda. It is a joint field, serving as the International Airport as well as a Naval Air Station. One can see the waves breaking on the edge of the reef.

 

 

Looking across a bay in Bermuda.

Looking across one of many bays in Bermuda. Formerly a British possession, Bermuda is now an independent country.

 

A fishing harbor.

Fishing boats take advantage of the protected harbors. Bermuda is known for its regular hurricanes. The main source of water on the island comes from the frequent afternoon thunderstorms. It is common to see residents scrubbing their white, concrete roofs, which capture the rain and run it into a cistern built behind each house.

 

Greg at the tartan shop.

Bermuda is a shopper's paradise, with duty free shopping and a very British flavor to its shops and pubs. Here, Greg Lloyd has found his family pattern at the Tartan shop. British beer is on tap, but its locally made dark rum is flavorful and affordable.

 

Hors carriages.

Horse carriages cater to the tourist trade. Motor scooters are available for rent, but left hand roads make them perilous for the complacent rider.

 

 

Horse carriage

The weather is generally warm, although a breeze is common. Businessmen dress in sport coats, ties, shorts and knee socks.

 

S-3 from below

A good look at an S-3 as I do a cross-under. While it looks fairly innocuous, it is a formidable weapons system.

 

Flying home.

We learned a lot in our week of exercises. Here we head back to Jacksonville, FL.