Whidbey fliers disciplined for their graffiti in the sky

Two Whidbey aviators involved in a Nov. 15 skywriting incident were disciplined by the Navy’s “Air Boss,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The aviators from the “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron 130 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island made international news — and became the source of more than a few bad puns — when they drew a penis in the sky during training over Okanogan in Eastern Washington. Photos of the air graffiti spread quickly through social media.

Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker handed an administrative punishment to the two-person crew following a Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board hearing.

A separate investigation into the incident by the NAS Whidbey Island squadron’s carrier air wing is still ongoing, meaning additional discipline is possible, Cmdr. Ron Flanders, spokesman for Naval Air Forces, told the Washington Examiner.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Shoemaker found that the aviators’ actions were “impulsive and immature” but both were “forthright and remorseful.” Navy authorities recommended that the Navy retain them as aviators but place them on probationary status.

Shoemaker agreed, the newspaper reported.

Shoemaker also ordered the aviators to address fellow crews at NAS Whidbey in a series of “Change the Culture” briefings.

Shoemaker released a statement in which he said “sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature” have no place in Naval aviation.

“This event clearly stands in stark contrast to the way our aviators and sailors are performing with utmost professionalism, discipline and excellence from our carrier flight decks and expeditionary airfields around the world today,” the statement says.

More in News

Commissioner rejects prosecutor’s request

Last week, Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson said she would vote against… Continue reading

Highway 20 clear after 2-vehicle traffic accident

Highway 20 has been cleared after a two-vehicle motor vehicle accident occurred… Continue reading

Hundreds of newspapers burn in car fire, delivery delayed

A car fire delayed the delivery of hundreds of copies of the… Continue reading

Man tracks down stolen bicycles

A little detective work by a Clinton resident led to the return… Continue reading

Oak Harbor hosts Kindergarten Orientation

Oak Harbor Public Schools is hosting its annual Kindergarten Orientation at 6… Continue reading

WhidbeyHealth EMS seeks levy extension

Tax supports 60 percent of operating budget

Former Island County corrections officer Mark Moffit cries as he apologizes to the family of Keaton Farris during sentencing at the Whatcom County Courthouse in Bellingham on Tuesday. Farris died of dehydration and malnutrition in the Island County Jail in 2015. Moffit and fellow former corrections officer David Lind were sentenced for forging their safety logs to make it seem like they’d been checking on Farris more often than they did. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Former jail guards sentenced in dehydration death of inmate

During a mental health crisis in 2015, Keaton Farris, 25, wasted away in the Island County Jail.

Crossing guard inducted into school safety patrol hall of fame

Logan Eash used to look out the window on his way to… Continue reading

Congrats, concerns over detox facility

Representatives from Island County were met with kudos, concerns and complaints during… Continue reading

Most Read