Two U.S. Marine Corps pilots have been grounded pending an investigation into a digitally-mapped flight path over Southern California skies last month that appeared to be in the shape of male genitalia.
The flight path by a T-34C Turbomentor that allegedly flew in a phallic shape was part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, once home to the U.S. Navy flight school better known as Top Gun, the Washington Examiner reported.
“The T-34C crew that are being investigated for flying a pattern resembling an obscene image are currently not flying pending the results of an ongoing investigation,” Maj. Josef Patterson, a spokesman with the unit, said in an email to the Marine Corps Times. “Although not flying for the time-being, the two Marine Corps aviators are still providing vital squadron ground support functions.”
Radar readings first picked up the maneuver as it occurred over the Salton Sea in the Colorado Desert, about 160 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
The flight path was reported by tracking site Aircraft Spots on its Twitter account.
Disciplinary action won’t be decided until the investigation is complete.
Some Twitter users expressed amusement and praised the pilots for their precision in flying.
“It was surgical,” one user wrote. “We can be proud that our fighter pilots are probably the best in the world, and drawing a penis with this amount of skill, and precision proves it!,” said another.
Two Navy lieutenants were disciplined last year after they used military aircraft to draw a penis over Washington state. Details of their punishment were not released.