Paying Tribute to the People Who Took Aviation
from the Flight Deck of a Navy Carrier to Man's First Steps on the Moon
September 1, 2000
F-14 BuNo. 160902 was placed into position atop its pedestal on Thursday, August 24th.
Prior to this, the F-14 was power-washed and shrink-wrapped. The shrink-wrapping is to protect the aircraft and give a sense of anticipation leading up to the unveiling ceremony. Just before the actual ceremony, the shrink-wrap will be removed and replaced with a camouflage net from the local Army National Guard unit in Riverhead.
About mid-morning our Tomcat began its journey from the hangar where it’s been kept, across the runway to the North Gate and onto Route 25. From there the procession made it way to the site where the crane and riggers lifted it off the roadway and placed it temporarily on the site itself. A few moments later it was raised up approximately three feet to enable Director Ken Euring and his volunteers clearance for attaching the specially designed mounting brackets and re-install the external fuel tanks.
Once everything was in place, aircraft #331 began its final flight up to rest forever atop the pedestal overlooking Route 25. Hoisting this aircraft was accomplished with the aid of Mr. Bill Mallins and his experienced crew. After carefully lining up the aircraft with its mounts to the mating plates already in the pedestal, welding the assembly commenced.
With the aircraft in place, completing Grumman Memorial Park is now in full swing. Water and electric facilities will be connected shortly. Landscaping and concrete work will be followed by construction of the parking lot, erecting light fixtures, positioning the old Plant 7 flag pole, obtaining a genuine Grumman guard booth, and installation of the bricks that will make up the Walk of Honor.