At Jever, the F-4F Phantoms will be dismantled and transformed to beer-cans :-(.
On Friday July 05 2013, the last 4 operational F-4F Phantoms of JG71 "Richthofen" were flown to their final destination at Jever airbase (ICAO code ETNJ) in northern Germany. At Jever airbase, all German 175 F-4F Phantoms, started their European career between 1973 and 1976, after delivery from the factory. There, the Phantom airframes were checked, modified and prepared before being distributed to their units in Germany. During the service-life of the Phantoms, depot-maintenance was performed at Jever airbase every 1200 flying hours, whereby the aircraft was completely stripped and rebuilt. At the end of their lifetime, the Phantoms will be handed over to "Luftwaffeninstandhaltungsgruppe 21" at Jever for the last time, to meet their final destiny, the shredder..........
After the phinal landing of each and every Phantom, the fuel tanks are cleaned and then the oil and hydraulic fluids are removed. After this, the Phantoms are stripped from the reusable items, for instance the ejection seats and the APG-65 radar. The reusable items are sold via the German Forces Agency VEBEG (Verwertungsgesellschaft des Bundes). When all reusable and recyclable items have been removed, the remaining "carcasses" are demilitarized by cutting them in 5 lumps. Then the remainders are sold to scrapyards that will process the Phantoms to beer cans. That is why Jever has the nickname of "Phantom Graveyard" (Phantom Phriedhof in the German language). In July 2013, about 25 Phantoms could be found in various states at Jever; mid 2014 the very last Phantom will be dismantled and scrapped.
On July 05, the final 4 Phantoms of JG-71 from Wittmund airbase took-off for their Phinal Phlight. And after 1 hour they landed at Jever airbase. All pilots were greeted with a glass of wine after landing. After the landing of the fourth and last Phantom (37+22), all pilots and ground crew climbed on top of the Phantom for a group photo. This Phantom was also decorated with the word R.I.P (Rest In Peace), where the R of the Richthofen squadron was reused.
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