Air Force Pilots Investigated for Flyby
Four Air Force T-38 pilots are reportedly being investigated after executing a fly-by following the national anthem at the 20 November Iowa-Ohio State football game. Reports indicate they may have been below the required minimum altitude.
Maj. Chris Kopacek, one of the pilots, told The Des Moines Register in a story published this week that he and the other pilots had clearance to fly at an altitude of just 500 feet.
[Public Affairs 1Lt Katie] Roling disputed that account. She said that permission, which requires approval from the [FAA] and an Air Force official, was never granted and the flight should have been at least 1,000 feet above ground.
A flyby by the Navy almost exactly a year ago led to the permanent grounding of two F/A-18 pilots.
Obviously, there may be a variety of factors at play, from an intentional act to an honest misunderstanding of what had and had not been approved. The Air Force will conduct its own investigation.
That’s not the only thing the pilots should think about. They were late and #4 was out of position.