These are the S-3 Viking Aircraft from VS-33 on the USS Kitty Hawk in 1977, this entire squaron was smashed in one accident

S-3 Viking Aircraft from VS-33 the Screwbirds.
S-3 Viking de Aviones de VS-33 de la Screwbirds.

on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, CV63



S-3 Screw Bird, Anit-Submarine Aircraft in the foreground on the Kitty Hawk

Photo by C. Jeff Dyrek

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In the foreground are the S-3 Viking Anti Submarine aircraft from VS-33 the Screwbirds. You can see the photo of the Screwbird on the tail. 

In the background you see the golden tails of VA-192 's Golden Eagles. The men on the deck are performing a FOD walk down. FOD stands for Foreign Object Damage. Even a small bolt can cause serious engine damage in these super vacuum cleaners called jets. Every day the flight deck crew does a FOD walk down to eliminate any damage possibilities.

Click Here's an interesting story about these S-3 aircraft Viking. One night were off the coast of California. It was very windy. The seas were high and the ship was rolling heavily. It was cloudy and foggy. The Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS) was down so the planes were required to land visually and manually.  Can you imagine this?

An F-14 Tomcat came in for a landing only twenty feet off of centerline. Its wing tip cut every one of these S-3's radomes and cockpits completely in half, destroying the entire squadron with one hit.

You should have seen the damage. The S-3's were incredibly destroyed. Wires and sheet metal were hanging everywhere. Of course these planes would never fly again, at least without some major repair, and were off loaded in San Diego at NAS North Island.

About ten years later I was working as an Automated Test Programmer at the Sacramento Army Depot. One of the engineers there was named Lisa. I told her that I was on a cruise aboard the USS Kitty Hawk and told her about this accident. Now, this is a small world, it turned out that Lisa was stationed at North Island and was one of the persons assigned to repair these highly damaged aircraft.

8 June 2010
Hello Jeff,
'Surfing the internet', and looking for my old VS-33 squadron, I came across your site and was intrigued by the article of the F-14 Tomcat that sheared the nose and canopies of a couple of S3's while on the Kitty Hawk. It so happened that I was on the flight deck working on the starboard side engine of the last S3s in that line, that was just short of getting sheared. At the time the incident happened, I never knew it, loud noises on the flight deck during aircraft recover times, and once I finished my work, I went back down to my squadron's mechanics' shop and a lot of guys confronted me wanting to know if I was hurt. I was an AD assigned to VS-33 from 1976 thru part of 1979, during which I made the western pacific cruise on the USS Kitty Hawk with the S3A Screwbirds.
Wayne Patrick


My name is Marlin Schauss, ATC, USN RET. I was aboard the USS Kitty Hawk on the night that the four Vikings in my squadron were hit by the landing F-14. 

The fairytail written about about all four planes being completely wrecked and never flying again is totally not true.  Two of the planes had their forward pressure bulkheads sliced open. A three man team from NADEP North Island where sent out to the ship to perform the require Depot Level repair on those planes. The other two planes were repaired by me and my shipmates in the  squadron. I can tell you from first hand experience, that all four of the planes that are mentioned as never flying again, ALL FLEW BEFORE the end of the cruise, and flew off to our home base at NAS North Island. I just thought that I would help set the record straight.

 I served with VS-33 from 1973 though 1978 and again 1981 through 1984. I am truly proud to have taken part in the fantastic safety record that VS-33 has had.

Click Here's a little information about VS-33:

Air Anti-Submarine Squadron 33 (VS-33) was tasked with the mission of aircraft carrier airborne antisubmarine warfare and protecting the Kitty Hawk from sub-surface threats. The squadron participated in numerous Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercises during the deployment and obtained many "kills" on simulated enemy submarines in cooperation with HS-8 a helicopter squadron. 

Making its first deployment with the Lockheed S-3A "Viking" aircraft on this cruise, VS-33 logged 17 years of accident free flying as of September 1977.

Another first for VS-33 was the US-3A COD aircraft, which is the only aircraft of its type. VS-33 was chosen as the squadron to take the US-3A on its first operational deployment, during which it carried over 200,000 pounds of mail and cargo to the USS Kitty Hawk. The US-3A gave the USS Kitty Hawk unprecedented mail service and on one occasion carried vital repair parts and shipyard personnel over 1500 NM to repair major casualty damage on the ship.

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