I suppose it is the same for any profession; you read or watch what the main stream press writes about your area of expertise and just roll your eyes. Sometimes it is so bad you just have to laugh. The above photo and caption came from the New York Times front page today. First; no it is not an F/A-18C Hornet. Not even close; it is an EA-6B Prowler. The on-line article has now been changed to “an American jet”. Amazing; the New York Times has no one that can identify a carrier based jet (EA-6B Prowler) that has been in continuous operation since the mid seventies. They just gave up; “an American jet”. What a forward leaning research department (insert sarcastic roll of eyes here).
Granted I have flown both aircraft so I had a rather large advantage; but come on, the EA-6B is a four man Electronic Warfare jet. The Hornet (Same airplane the Blue Angels fly BTW) is a small single seat Fighter/Attack aircraft. I did a simple search (air wing uss bush), CAG 8 popped right up, as well as a picture of an EA-6B Prowler further down the page. I clicked on the Carrier Air Wing Eight link, a list of squadrons and their aircraft is very apparent. A second click on the F/A-18 would quickly clue in anyone that the picture was not a Hornet. Moving down the list with in two more clicks you would find a picture of the EA-6B Prowler. How easy is that, total time less than two minutes.
Here is a picture of an F/A-18 Hornet:
Here is an EA-6B Prowler:
Does it really matter? I would submit it does, because if you can’t get the easy details correct, how can we possibly trust the rest of the story? And if this is an example of the research ability of The New York Times; can you trust anything they print?
BTW: The aircraft in the NYT picture; on deck, left in frame, is a Hornet.