The U.S. Marine Corps has launched an investigation after one of their pilots appeared to draw an “irregular” image in the sky during a flight.
Aircraft Spots, a Twitter account that monitors military flight patterns using flight tracking software, first noticed the unusual path of the marine’s plane over the California’s Salton Sea lake. “Somebody needs to have a word with the crew of US Navy T-34C 160937 SHUTR91 out of MCAS Miramar,” read a tweet that included two photos that documented a flight path that appeared to create an image of male genitalia.
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Maj. Josef Patterson, a spokesman for 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, told the Marine Corps Times that the aircraft seen in the Twitter post belongs to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101. He did not reveal whether the pilot was an instructor or a pilot in training.
Patterson also told NBC 7 San Diego that the military branch was launching an investigation into the incident and the Marine Corps would determine potential disciplinary action upon the investigation’s completion.
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“Obscene or inappropriate actions, flight or not, do not reflect the core values we hold as Marines,” Patterson told the local news outlet.
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Patterson confirmed the incident to PEOPLE in a statement, saying, “A T-34C aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, flew an irregular flight pattern over the Salton Sea that resembled a phallic image. An investigation to uncover the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident is ongoing. The aircrew’s chain of command are committed to maintaining an environment of professionalism, dignity and respect. The Marines and Sailors of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing will perform at the highest levels expected of professional war fighters, and uphold our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”
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