Just FIVE Public Appearances Remain For USAF F-4 Phantoms, Including Final Flight Event In December

posted in: Airshows, Military, Popular Posts | 60
USAF F-4 Phantom Departure
USAF F-4 Phantoms departed EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for the last time this July.

Update: 9/20/16 – Although the Fort Worth Alliance Airshow asked to be removed from this post last week, we have reconfirmed that two Phantoms plan to attend the show and have re-added it to the schedule.

We have already reported that 2016 is the final year for USAF-operated F-4 Phantoms, but we are happy to report that they will go out with a public celebration of their service. As announced by F-4 pilot Ron ‘Elvis’ King at EAA AirVenture, there are plans to fly the last remaining F-4s in Holloman Air Force Base on December 20th this year. He estimates that four Phantoms will take part in the event. There will be multiple flybys and some supersonic flying, as well as a Phinal Phantom formation of four F-4s.

The aircraft will also be making several other public appearances this year before this final send off. The most recent plans include just four stops; three of them airshows and one a NASCAR race flyover. As always, and especially with these old jets, the appearances are subject to change at any time due to weather, mechanical issues, or operational scheduling.

16-19 Sep – Reno, NV
23-26 Sep – MCAS Miramar, CA
14-17 Oct – Ft. Worth Alliance, TX
6 Nov – NASCAR Sprint Cup Flyby at Texas Motor Speedway
10-14 Nov – Nellis AFB, NV

Holloman Air Force Base is located near Alamogordo, New Mexico and is home to multiple flight groups such as F-16s of the 54th Fighter Group and the German Air Force Flying Training Center of the German Luftwaffe.

The Phantoms at Holloman Air Force Base are QF-4 Phantom target drones. As of EAA AirVenture 2016, 20 QF-4s remained in inventory. Not all of them will be completely destroyed, but members of the QF-4 program were told that they will need to get rid of the Phantoms one way or another. Once they are gone, the only remaining F-4 Phantom that will be airworthy in the United States is the one owned by the Collings Foundation, which has had mechanical issues for several years.

USAF F-4 PhantomUSAF F-4 Phantom

The date is currently tentative and is subject to change, but the pilots want to get the word out. So mark your calendars; USAF F-4 Phantoms will have one last hurrah in New Mexico before signing off for good this December.

For those who can’t make it, rest assured that AirshowStuff will have plenty of F-4 footage coming, including more exclusive cockpit footage!

60 Responses

  1. RonM

    I will NEVER forget my almost 8 years being a Phantom Phixer. Some of the highlights included launching Chappie James several times while at Eglin, FL. But my best memory has to be my back seat ride while stationed at Elmendorf. It was July 4th 1975 and we were a 4-ship, we flew over 2 town parades at low level then we broke away from the formation and went out to the range to “play”. My pilot was an Australian exchange pilot and his attitude was “F**K IT, IT AIN’T MY AIRPLANE”. One of the best things we did was a max climb. We were at @ 25K AGL and I asked if we could do a max climb, he said we were to high for that but it was an easy fix. He pushed the nose over and we headed straight for the ground. We leveled off at around 5K AGL and he asked if I was ready. I was of course so he lit the burners and pulled back on the stick and straight up we went to about 30K AGL. I pulled 5+ G’s that day without a G-suit, I got disoriented but never passed out or got sick. I wish these old girls could continue to Phly Phorever.

  2. Nina E Newberry

    If I could have anything for Christmas I would ask to go to the Phantom Finale. I live in Kansas City, Missouri. MY Dad used to take me to Airshows when I was a very young girl. This was in France and Germany. I was hooked from the start. I am now 69 years old. The last show I went to was in July at Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska. My youngest son who is 35 caught the bug from me. In August we went to the Air Force Museum in Ohio. Amazing!!! Would love to go back. In the meantime I must find a way to go to New Mexico. The f-4 has always been my favorite. Perhaps I’ll find a way.

  3. Rocco

    Being a Phantom guy since the 60’s & 70’s I had to be around them ! Well I got my wish aboard CV-59!!⚓️ An F-4 taking off in tandom on the ground is one thing! But seeing 2 side by side on the bow cats in Full burner is nothing short of spectacular !! Only the space shuttle tops that in my book lol! Nothing like the sound of a J-79!!! Long live the Phantom⚓️

    • Doc Ward

      You are right. The mcdonnell douglas f-4 phantom was definitely a pioneer of the Vietnam war, and in the times that we are living in, especially with the rarity of the airworthy phantom, it is merely not low of spectacular. I myself personally saw two of them in Little Rock AFB in 2012, and I too will never forget it, especially their heritage flight with a P-47.

      (Whisper) if you ever want to see my photos or witness report of the Airpower Arkansas LRAFB air show, email me.

  4. Roger

    Anybody know if spectators will be allowed on base, or is it over the fence viewing?

  5. Doc Ward

    Sad times for all Phantom lovers. I myself have the F-4 as my favorite fighter of Vietnam. We’ll miss it.

    (Whisper) Love the photo. Wonder when you’ll post the EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2016 Photo Album

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