USS George H. W. Bush Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Tour, 2/12/11

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty BK 3030920

I had this unique opportunity yesterday to tour the USS George Bush while in port, prior to continuing with their pre-deployment war games off our coast.

How? Being active in the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce has led me to be on the Beaches Chamber Board of Directors, and this invitation was directed towards the Board - and one I'm glad I did not pass up!

I have never been aboard an aircraft carrier, and they are SO HUGE! Floating cities is a good analogy; this one is probably bigger in terms of population than the small Northern NJ town I grew up in!

The entire experience was awesome, however, the "elevator" experience was probably the most awesome: it's a portion of the flight deck that acts as an open air elevator, capable of carrying 200,000 pounds, and moving with alarming speed (really!). There are four on board, and they can move aircraft from the hangar to the flight deck.

Here are some facts I learned:

  • Approximately 6000 people serve on board, almost all of them under the age of 24.
  • They can land another plane every 45-60 seconds.
  • The tower "stack" was not built on top of the flight deck; it was built in a separate location and then welded to the flight deck.
  • Nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall.

You can read more about the ship here on their official website: 



Great plane shot on the flight deck. You can barely see the War Party on the fuel tank...

Mouse Tail

Bomb Mouse On Tail - part of the way the individual units are defined.

Mutha Color Tail

This is the "show" plane; you can tell because the tail insignia is in full color and not muted.

Repair Mouse Tail

Repair Mouse - not clarified, just my interpretation.


This is the tower portion, built somewhere else, and then welded to the flight deck. The top row of windows is essentially the air traffic control portion.

Flight Deck

The flight deck was impossibly long and I can only imagine what it is like to actually LAND planes on it...especially at night!

Elevator 4That WHOLE section is an elevator, designed to carry aircraft from the hangar level to the flight deck level. Maybe it doesn't move AS fast when it is carrying significant weight, but I can tell you: we civilians were totally surprised when it moved. Both times!

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Carol Zingone is a full service Broker Associate proudly affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty in Atlantic Beach, FL.  I help buyers and sellers locally, regionally, and internationally.  With hundreds of happy buyers and sellers over the course of my career, I'm thrilled to help first time buyers, military buyers, seniors, investors, 1031 exchange properties, short sales and REO's.  I have spent hours honing my expertise, including the designations of: Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), Loss Mitigation Certification (LMC) , Short Sales, Foreclosures, REO's, (SFR), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).  I pride myself on providing excellent expertise to all buyers and sellers. Search the MLS via  for Jacksonville and area listings!


Comments (7)

Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Good Morning Carol..... That's like a small Town! Nice post and great photos!
Hope you have a great day!---Rob

Feb 13, 2011 12:15 AM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Neat shots. Those carries are like floating cities. One doesn't get the feel for these until they are on one...

Feb 13, 2011 12:40 AM
Lydie Ouellet Dickinson
Realty Executives Tri County, Bellingham MA - Bellingham, MA

That is really impressive, Carol! The shot you took of all the aircrafts lined-up, makes me realize how long and massive this "boat" is! Can you imagine landing one of those during hurricane force wind?

Feb 13, 2011 01:13 AM
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Carol, Your photos and comments are great. I have only seen carriers at a distance and really enjoyed this.  Thanks for sharing.

Feb 13, 2011 05:06 AM
Chris Alston
Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California) - Campbell, CA
Silicon Valley, California

You are sooooo lucky to go on the tour!  I would have been a kid in a candy store!

Feb 13, 2011 07:14 AM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Rob: Thanks! It was truly amazing!

Mike: So very true - you have no idea how massive it is until you are on it, and then it is overwhelming.

Lydie: Some of our members were helicoptered out for a recent overnight trip on a carrier, and got to watch first hand both daytime and nighttime landings - I didn't  make that invite list, but sure wish I had!

Gary: Thanks! Glad I could bring a new perspective - I'm grateful I could take the tour!

Chris: Thanks! I knew I was, and took as many pix as I could - more tomorrow!


Feb 13, 2011 11:47 AM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA

Good Morning Carol, Some great shots and a great experience. The coolest things about all this is that you will never forget the experience. And the photos will always be a reminder. One of the interesting things that I experienced was that for the first time, I was actually interested and the intensity of that grows for you over time. It really does engender so much pride in our military and in our country.

Feb 14, 2011 01:54 AM