Moody A-10 Pilots Grounded After Impromptu Fly-by

a10flybyFour A-10 pilots from the 23rd Wing at Moody AFB, Georgia, have been removed from flight status as the Air Force and FAA review an impromptu fly-by they did of the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC: 

Charlotte-based air traffic controllers approved the pilots’ request to fly over the Carolina Panthers’ stadium after they departed from Charlotte Douglas International Airport around 11:30 a.m., the FAA has said. The pilots were participating in routine navigation training from Charlotte to Moody…

It seems some team members who were practicing in the stadium thought it was kind of cool — but it startled some local residents.

“Oh yeah, we most certainly were caught off-guard. You kind of see everybody wondering what’s going on,” said Coach Ron Rivera, whose father had served in the Army.  Rivera said the flyover was “pretty awesome. I really appreciated that. I like the fact that they waved at us as they went over.”

In general, aircraft are required to be at a minimum of 1,000 feet above the ground when in a “congested” or heavily populated area. Given the locale, that probably qualifies. Video of the spontaneous event appears to show an A-10 below that altitude, though perception isn’t always accurate in video.

That said, had they been at 1,001 feet, instead of a few feet lower, do you think the outcome would have been any different?

Fly fun, boys, but in a world in which everyone has a camera and that video will be all over the world in minutes, don’t fly stupid.

Also at the Stars and Stripes.