HA5215 Grumman F-14A Tomcat 162707, VF-74 "Be-Devilers", USS Saratoga, 1987
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The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a twin-engine, variable sweep wings capable of supersonic flight. The aircraft is crewed by a Pilot and a Radar Intercept Officer who share the tasks of navigation, target acquisition, ECM and weapons usage. The Tomcat was operated by the United States Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force only. The name "Tomcat" is said to come from the call-sign used by Vice Admiral Thomas Connolly which conformed to the USN tradition of giving Grumman aircraft feline names.
VF-74 “Be-Devilers” Grumman F-14A Tomcat 162707 c/n 553 AA101 assigned to the USS Saratoga was on a NATO training exercise over the Mediterranean on April 30, 1987. During the exercise 162707 detected a target, USAF RF-4C 69-0381, supposedly an enemy aggressor. The F-14 pilot heard the ok to fire, checked with his RIO who said “Yeah, go ahead and shoot him”, thinking the pilot would make an exercise shot call instead he fired a live Sidewinder downing the RF-4C. Miraculously everyone survived but 162707 crashed in 1993.