President Bush will be making a speech to the nation tonight from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The interesting part of the story is that the president will be flying out to the Lincoln in an S-3B Viking, a four-seat anti-submarine aircraft (although it now has several other roles in the carrier air wing as well). The S-3 is a four-seat aircraft, and with the pilot taking up one seat and the president the other, it doesn’t leave much of an entourage. The article says it will be a co-pilot and a Secret Service agent.
I wonder why Bush is flying out there in an S-3 and not a C-2 Greyhound, a cargo-carrying aircraft capable of carrier landings. It must be symbolic. Or he’s president and he wanted to try a carrier landing in something a little sportier than a cargo plane. He is a former fighter pilot after all.
The S-3B flight will be called Navy One while the president is on board. He will leave the ship on a Marine helicopter, Marine One, which will be able to reach him since the ship will be closer to shore.