US-3A Viking Visitor

The S-3A Viking was not often seen on dry land in Australia but this example dropped into Brisbane unexpectedly on 29 April 1992. BuNo 157998 is actually a US-3A, the Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) version of the Viking carrier-based anti-submarine aircraft. The aircraft was operated by VRC-50 based at Cubi Point at Subic Bay in the Philippines. The Viking was accompanied by two COD C-2A Greyhounds, 162150 and 162156 from the same unit. All three aircraft arrived from RAAF Richmond and departed after a brief stop. With only five bays on the apron of the Temporary International Terminal, the USN crews endeared themselves to their handling agent Qantas, by folding their wings and parking all three aircraft on one bay! The aircraft were in Australia in connection with the carrier USS Independence which was in Australian waters with a number of other ships to celebrate the 50th anniversay of the Battle of the Coral Sea, although none of the three aircraft carried any markings to connect them with the Independence. On 30 April, while sailing down the NSW coast, the carrier launched sixteen aircraft to perform a flypast over the city of Sydney. The carrier arrived in Sydney Harbour on 1 May 1992 and sailed on 5 May bound for the Indian Ocean and service in the Persian Gulf. Why the aircraft were at the Brisbane International Terminal is unknown but there is speculation that they may have been clearing Customs on their way back to Cubi Point.

US-3A Viking 157998 of VRC-50 at Brisbane on 29 April 1992.
Picture: Ron Cuskelly (AG082)
US-3A Viking 157998 of VRC-50 at Brisbane on 29 April 1992.
Ron Cuskelly (AG087)



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