Skip to comments.Bush Piloted National Guard Trainers Shortly Before He Stopped Flying (AP pimping for Kerry)
Posted on 09/10/2004 12:11:25 AM PDT by JohnHuang2Edited on 09/11/2004 7:31:29 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
WASHINGTON (AP) - George W. Bush began flying a two-seat training jet more frequently and twice required multiple attempts to land a one-seat fighter in the weeks just before he quit flying for the Texas Air National Guard in 1972, his pilot logs show. The logs show Bush flew nine times in T-33 trainers in February and March 1972, including eight times in one week and four of those only as a co-pilot. Bush, then a first lieutenant, flew in T-33s only twice in the previous six months and three times in the year ending July 31, 1971.
The records also show Bush required two passes to land an F-102A fighter on March 12 and April 10, 1972. His last flight as an Air National Guard pilot was on April 16.
Meanwhile, questions were raised Thursday about the authenticity of newly unearthed memos purporting to have been written by one of Bush's commanders in 1972 and 1973. The memos, which were publicized by CBS News on its "60 Minutes" program, say Bush ignored a direct order from a superior officer and lost his status as a Guard pilot because he failed to meet military performance standards and undergo a required physical exam.
The network defended the memos, saying its experts who examined the memos concluded they were authentic documents produced by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian.
But Killian's son, one of Killian's fellow officers and an independent document examiner questioned the memos Gary Killian, who served in the Guard with his father and retired as a captain in 1991, said he doubted his father would have written an unsigned memo which said there was pressure to "sugar coat" Bush's performance review.
"It just wouldn't happen," he said. "No officer in his right mind would write a memo like that."
The personnel chief in Killian's unit at the time also said he believes the documents are fake.
"They looked to me like forgeries," said Rufus Martin. "I don't think Killian would do that, and I knew him for 17 years." Killian died in 1984.
Independent document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines said the memos looked like they had been produced on a computer using Microsoft Word software. Lines, a document expert and fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, pointed to a superscript - a smaller, raised "th" in "111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron" - as evidence indicating forgery.
Microsoft Word automatically inserts superscripts in the same style as the two on the memos obtained by CBS, she said.
"I'm virtually certain these were computer generated," Lines said after reviewing copies of the documents at her office in Paradise Valley, Ariz. She produced a nearly identical document using her computer's Microsoft Word software.
The Defense Department released Bush's pilot logs this week under pressure from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Associated Press. The logs do not explain why Bush was flying T-33s or why he twice needed multiple approaches to make landings.
White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Thursday said he had no information on the reasons behind the multiple-approach landings or the surge in training-jet flights.
"He did his training and was honorably discharged," Duffy said.
Former Air National Guard officials contacted by the AP said there could be reasons for the trainer flights and multiple-approach landings which have nothing to do with Bush's pilot skills.
Bush could have flown T-33s so many times because his unit did not have enough F-102A jets available that week, for example, said retired Maj. Gen. Don Shepperd a former head of the Air National Guard. Another former Air National Guard chief, retired Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver, said he saw nothing unusual about Bush making more than one landing attempt.
"It doesn't mean anything to have multiple approaches," Weaver said.
Bush's Vietnam-era Air National Guard service became a focus of Democratic criticism this week amid a flurry of new reports about his activities. Democrats say Bush shirked his National Guard duties, a claim Bush denies.
Republican critics have accused Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, of fabricating the incidents which led to his five medals.
Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, serving more than a year on active Air Force duty while being trained to fly F-102A jets. He was honorably discharged from the Guard in October 1973 and left the Air Force Reserves in May 1974.
The first four months of 1972 are at the beginning of a controversial period in Bush's Guard service. After taking his last flight in April 1972, Bush went for six months without showing up for any training drills. In September 1972 he received permission to transfer to an Alabama Guard unit so he could work on a political campaign there.
That May, Bush also skipped a required yearly medical examination. In response, his commanders grounded Bush on Aug. 1, 1972.
Bush's pilot logs showed regular training in the F-102A until Feb. 9, 1972, when he flew 1.4 hours as the pilot of a T-33. After seven more flights in the F-102A, Bush made eight more T-33 flights between March 9 and March 15, including the four as co-pilot.
He flew an F-102A on March 12 and eight more times in April 1972.
Because Bush's unit was transitioned to a training unit in 1970!
The unit George Bush flew for was taken off active fighter-interceptor duty in 1970 and was transitioned to act as a training unit for the ANG.
Bush told C-Span some time ago that the last jet he flew was a T-38 Talon, not the T-33.
The F-102A was already obsolete at that time, in fact, was obsolete years before 1970! George Bush's unit had F-101s coming in to replace the F-102s. Later, the unit also flew F-105s.
Why would George Bush be flying F-102s if it was going to get yanked soon?
Since George Bush's unit was now a training squadron, it makes perfect since why he was flying T-33s (or T-38s). That is the aircraft that the new pilots will train in, and those who would help train wopuld have to keep their proficiency up in that aircraft.
The key points that the main stream media continue to avoid (on purpose) is that the F-102 was obsolete and the trainers (T-33s and T-38s) would have been utilized more and more since, after all, the unit had become a taining squadron.
I take it the author of this piece never heard of touch and goes. (Or the Air Force equivalent of them)
For Gods sake maybe there was a deer on the runway, maybe he got waved off because of conflicting traffic, maybe there was a strong crosswind? BFD two whole approaches. Hey I know a lot of guys who can drive a boat ( and anyone can beach one). Not many guys can pilot a gas filled brick with wings.
This just sounds like touch and goes.
You can go to the Reserve base in Fort Worth...old Carswel...and see them do that every day.
I'm sick of thise non-military experts trying to evaluate military procedures. What they don't know and understand, they ass(ume) or just plain fabricate. The're nothing but dimwit pukes!
Didn't they take the F102 out of service near the end of his stint? I remember hearing it was too expensive to retrain the F102 pilots for another jet when they would be leaving soon, so there was nothing to do but hang around. Not surprising he would fly a trainer every now and then just to get some flying time in.
Wow.. Two approaches while in training on a complicated jet aircraft... maybe the admin moderator should put this in breaking news.. /sarcasm.
What a piece of cow dung this article is. Notice how it minimizes the fact that the See BS memos were most likely forgeries by levelling the missed approach charges at Bush.
When with these stupid AP writers ever learn that we are onto their tricks and obstructions?
Maybe these drooling morons have yet to hear of Blogs.
Thanks for the link, friend.
Yeah, but McCain is a Rino so he gets a pass from the National Socialists.
This Just In: President Bush went through supermarket express lane with more than 15 items in 1974.
Oh good grief! A rejected landing is often the BEST decision a pilot could make. I know. I've made a few.
This is absolute armchair-fighter-pilot BS.
How do we ping the aviation list? I'm on it, but don't know the ping routine.
Next thing you know, he didn't file a flight plan.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.