Grumman VC-4A Gulfstream I

May 3, 2022

U.S. Coast Guard Aviation History

Grumman VC-4A Gulfstream I 


VC-4A in flight, 20 January 1964; U.S. Coast Guard Air Detachment, National Airport.

Coast Guard's VC-4A, May 1969.  USCG Photo G-APA-05-11-69 (01); Photographer PH1 Clayton. 


The Coast Guard acquired a VC-4A from Grumman on 19 March 1963.  It was based out of National Airport in Washington, D.C. and served as the executive transport for the commandant of the Coast Guard.  After the Coast Guard transferred to the Department of the Transportation, the Secretary of Transportation also utilized this aircraft.  In September 1983 the VC-4A was transferred to Air Station Elizabeth City.

The Coast Guard ordered a second VC-4A but cancelled the order before delivery.

According to a USCG Memo, dated 20 December 1973, the VC-4A's  and the VC-11A's authorized use included:

"These aircraft are used to provide air transportation on a demand basis, to the Secretary [of Transportation] and members of his staff, the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard and members of his staff and such other personnel as may be authorized by the Commandant.  The VC-4A is normally used for all flights east of the Mississippi and the VC-11A is normally used only for flights west of the Mississippi or outside CONUS."

The VC-4A, according to the same memo, flew for an average of 800 hours per year and carried an average of 7.8 passengers per flight.  The VC-11A, on the other hand, flew an average of 600 hours per year and carried an average of 6.5 passengers per flight.

The aircraft was transferred to ARSC in 1983 and at last report was flying as a logistics and Long Range Command and Control (LRCC) aircraft for the Seventh Coast Guard District (a VIP transport and to ferry personnel throughout the Seventh District).  The aircraft, number USCG 02, was based out of Air Station Miami.  On 19 September 2001 the Coast Guard procured a “previously owned” VC-4, Gulfstream I aircraft, from NASA, for replacement of Air Station Miami's grounded VC-4. 


Arthur Pearcy, U.S. Coast Guard Aircraft Since 1916 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991), pp. 320-321.

Gordon Swanborough & Peter M. Bowers.  United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990) (revised), pp. 432-435.