Federal budget issues could end flyovers

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The latest convoluted governmental crisis comes from the concept of “sequestration.”  (When did we all sign up for the Convoluted Governmental Crisis of the Month Club?)

For lawyers, it means making a jury reside in a hotel until the trial is over.  In this context, well, I don’t know what the hell it means.

According to Gary Mihoces of USA Today, one thing it means is that flyovers at sporting events will end.  And the plug would be pulled at least through September 30, if not longer.

If any portion of the defense department budget is going to be slashed, the act of flying planes over a crowded stadium would be the one to get rid of.  It’s not something that makes our actual or potential enemies soil their shorts, and as a recruiting tool its value is questionable.

Really, any kids who would be attracted to the military because they think it’s cool that planes skim the top of a stadium in tight formation may not be the best candidates to carry loaded M-16s.

While it’s a neat effect, it’s a waste of tax dollars.  And there’s a risk — regardless of how small — that those planes will touch wings and one of them will land in the south end zone seats.  Not doing flyovers reduces the risk of a major catastrophe to zero.

If this sequestration thing gets rid of similar useless spending, maybe it’s not a bad thing, after all.

60 responses to “Federal budget issues could end flyovers

  1. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more of a call for this before. This is literally just a pointless waste of tax dollars.
    I guess it does (did?) give us all a chance to scream MURICA’ though…

  2. This is one of 10,000 things that are a waste of tax dollars. I’m glad we put so much money into education in this country. When our kids grow up and get jobs, 70% of the income they’re going to be making is going to go towards paying off the ridiculous spending we’ve become so accustomed to

  3. This is not a complete waste.
    This is good training for pilots on getting over an exact target on exact second. Crucial for bombing missions.

  4. It would be interesting to see how much these flyovers actually cost. From fuel costs to preparation to the paying those who coordinate them, perhaps not doing it for a few months actually saves a lot of money.

  5. Spending cuts good, thoughtless spending cuts bad. But hey its great that our gov. leaders (and you) can ignore all of the people that will experience forced furloughs and layoffs.

  6. I agree with the notion that it is a waste of tax payer money. However, to say that “Really, any kids who would be attracted to the military because they think it’s cool that planes skim the top of a stadium in tight formation may not be the best candidates to carry loaded M-16s,” is an ignorant statement. Whatever the cause is that persuades an individual to join the Armed Forces is a good one. I joined the military because I lived next to an Air Force base while growing up and constantly saw jets flying overhead. Our fighter jets are a source of national pride and few things invoke more patriotism than seeing them in tight formation screaming through the sky. Secondly, our fighter pilots are trained for intense combat scenarios and while there is always an inherent risk with flight, to suggest that 4-5 planes flying in a tight formation, in a straight line, by pilots extensively trained in the operation of their aircraft is a red herring, plain and simple.

  7. That’s ok considering Giants Stadium only gets an occasional helicopter flyover once in a while.

    It also makes no sense why they allow private jets and commercial airlines to fly over on game day very low.

  8. Unnecessary use of jets can go away, but those planes will not maintain flight worthiness if they aren’t flown from time to time. Just plan some of those maintenance flights for times when ball games are going on. Win-Win.

    I’ll be selfish here, the flyover is my favorite part of any non-game action. The star spangled banner ending with some jets flying overhead gives me a feeling I just can’t get any other way. In the name of patriotism, these things don’t have to end, just couple them with routine maintenance and training programs. My guess they presently do that anyway, they’re just throwing this out there to get one party or the other to freak out about all of these cuts.

  9. I believe the flyovers are counted as training time, so, unless training time is cut, it doesn’t really affect the bottom line.

  10. I always thought flyovers were training flights. They are flying planes a couple hundred miles to an exact location at an exact time. While the skills needed for that can be hone by other matters, fly overs provide extra benefits which why they are used.

  11. If that’s true, I’m gonna miss them. They’re a staple here in Jacksonville (a huge military town) and they always give me goosebumps.

  12. We’ve got sixty boat loads of useless spending we need to take care of… I’m much less worried about flyovers at football games and much more worried about food stamps, social security, medicare, “free” healthcare, welfare, etc.

  13. There is a lot of Pomp and Circumstance that the DOD could eliminate that would save a lot of money.
    All the politicians need to do is spend like it is their personal money. Problem solved.

  14. This is something that should’ve never been done for the most part anyway, sans for 9/11 rememberence. At minimum, it’s a waste of tax payer dollars during normal circumstances.

  15. Most flyovers are factored into training sorties. They might ground the Thunderbirds ( which is solely a demonstration team) but I don’t see them dropping other flyovers.

  16. I know we are hurting with the budget but its a traditional thing to due and great for our moral boost to the fans and players and ect! Nothing like seeing our proud military being there and for us to honor them also. God Bless America and Football and our fine Military family! Nothing like being a American!!!!!

  17. Im actually a little shocked to learn that the sports arent the ones paying for it in the first place.

  18. Nice to see the concept of not wasting tax payer dollars on sports is finally starting to creep into your psyche.

    Now if you could expand this sensibility to the idea of having Congress spend millions of tax payer dollars holding hearings about all manners of sports issues that they have no business wasting time and money on, you would be on to something.

  19. As a training exercise, it requires pilots to be over a certain location at an exact time….hopefully so the “…home of the braaaaaaaave” at the end of the national anthem morphs into the sound of the jets flying overhead. Given being in a specific place at a specific time can be imporant to an air force, it’s not as much of a waste as people think.

    If you want to talk about wasteful recruiting efforts, try the National Guard auto racing teams.

  20. To an Active Duty Air Force member the tone here is rather aggrivating. I fell in love with planes when I was 6 years old at an Air Show, I knew what I was going to do when I grew up from that day forward…. And because of that I don’t have what it takes to carry an M-16? Besides that your points are moot anyway. Those aircrew have to fly so many sorties/hours in a given time frame, so if they arent flying over a stadium they will be flying over a field somewhere.

  21. I look forward to the spending cuts, ANY spending cuts. Our government has become an unsustainable, overfed, giant pig that can no longer even move. We just keep feeding it tax dollars and watching it grow as it does nothing but line the pockets of politicians that have brainwashed the masses into thinking they have our best interest at heart by pitting one party against the other over BS while laughing all the way to their bank accounts in Sweden and the Cayman’s – all of them . The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

  22. There will still be fly overs. They just won’t be at the stadium. They will be over your house using drones.

  23. As well they should cut out this excessive cost to taxpayers in this country. Who do they think they are anyway? Pro football fans (numbers of which are dwindling anyway, thanks to Ms. Goodell) certainly do not even amount to anywhere HALF the population. Same with NASCAR, stop wasting our money (costs HUGE sums of money to have those planes up there) on the flyovers!

  24. It was my understanding that the team or event, NASCAR, paid a large part of the cost for these fly overs. There is also a FAA guy that has to be at the stadium to oversee the flight in regards to air restrictions.

  25. I live five miles from a naval air base and often see low, training fly-bys out my back window. As someone has already suggested here, coordinate game-day formation flying within the budget they are already operating on. Write it off as a free promotional event.

    Hearing the government poor-mouth fly-overs due to budget concerns is, like everything else they’re telling us: a crock.

  26. Is it just me, shouldn’t the NFL pay for the fly overs themselves?

    I assumed they were from the get go.

  27. People seriously need to stop with the idea that it serves as a training aid.

    Yes, we all realize that in order to complete missions successfully, pilots need to know how to be over a specific target at a specific time.

    The idea that the Air Force is dependent upon fly overs at sporting events to provide this crucial training is preposterous.

    “General, Sir, I desperately need more pilots that can be over target at the correct time!”

    “Sorry, Colonel, the Super Bowl isn’t for 11 months. You’ll have to make due with what you have”.

  28. We have a Sec of Def (Panetta) who charges $32,000 (verified) each and every friday for a USAF C-37 to take him home for the weekend to California, the crew is TDY, and for that luxury he pays back 460.00.

    We have a Dictator who spent 5.2 million just six weeks ago for a 17 day vacation in Hawaii, then 423,000 last week to play golf with tiger.
    Oh today? 60 MILLION in Cash $$$ for Syrian rebels via John Kerry…to quote Nancy Pelosi “We don’t have a spending problem in Washington, we have a paying problem.” Frigging idiots

  29. So Florio are you equally concerned about how much wasted fuel, manpower, and logistics it takes to fly Michelle and her daughter to Europe for vacation?

  30. Yeah, it’s exciting, but pointless. I’m a USN veteran, and I won’t mind one bit that they stop it. What the heck does it have to do with a football game, anyway? And I won’t miss the B2 flying over the Rose Parade, either. Ever wonder how much it costs to fly one of those babies? For every hour of flight time, it needs 119 hours of maintenance, and they fly to Pasadena from Whiteman AFB in Missouri. And back. $$$$$$$$$$$$

  31. Not necessarily. I’m in an Airborne reserve unit and we usually schedule training jumps to coincide with air shows and other similar events. These units still have considerable training budgets and can very easily make sure some of those training hours are spent flying over events. This is media nonsense to a degree.

  32. “And there’s a risk — regardless of how small — that those planes will touch wings and one of them will land in the south end zone seats. Not doing flyovers reduces the risk of a major catastrophe to zero.”

    Geeze Florio, how do you get through your day to day life with your lawyers fear of everything that could possibly go wrong ?

    I mean you might stub your toe or trip and fall down every time you walk up and down your stairs. Or the chance of a drunk driver hitting you every time you have to go out and drive somewhere.

    Holy crap I am so sick of the wussification of America and the attorneys leading the charge. The country could really do without you and the nanny state philosophy !

  33. Waste of tax dollars? How much did an inaugaration for a president ALREADY in office cost? THATS a waste.

    This is a waste too…but at least its cool

  34. “Really, any kids who would be attracted to the military because they think it’s cool that planes skim the top of a stadium in tight formation may not be the best candidates to carry loaded M-16s.”


    What a condesending thing to say. Jerk

  35. eatitfanboy says:Feb 28, 2013 11:42 AM

    People seriously need to stop with the idea that it serves as a training aid.

    Yes, we all realize that in order to complete missions successfully, pilots need to know how to be over a specific target at a specific time.

    The idea that the Air Force is dependent upon fly overs at sporting events to provide this crucial training is preposterous.

    That’s not the point at all. They’re going to do the training anyway, so why not have them fly over a sporting event during one of the training missions? Seems like everyone wins.

  36. Our government leaders are lying about how bad the sequestration is. We’re talking about cutting a tiny amount out of an incredibly bloated budget. A real leader could do that without anyone noticing, but our dictator will make the cuts in the most visible way possible to try to convince the idiots who voted for him that we can’t get by on a penny less than what he wants to spend. Of course, we’re not actually cutting anything, we’re just decreasing the rate of increase. We’ll still spend more this year than we did last year.

  37. All of your points Florio are invalid, but the overall idea is true.

    However, these fly overs as you say are logged as training hours, so the fuel, pilots time, etc. are spent regardless if they are flying over a stadium to help invoke national pride or flying in a formation over a bomb run…

    And to say it is an ineffective recruiting tool is also off base; air shows and demonstrations like this certainly get the attention of an aspiring pilot or anyone that just wants to be affiliated with such…

    And they aren’t as close as you think and these pilots are very well trained and are not performing risky stunts like at an air show…

    You seem rather sour on the military there my friend…and the Patriots, maybe there is a link here.

  38. I absolutely am shocked the NFL did not pay for this already.

    The flyovers were always dramatic and a nice touch, but sorry… not on my dime. We have bigger issues in our country that need the $$.

  39. Perhaps we could trim bloated pensions for government bureaucrats instead of flyovers.

  40. Typical lawyer speak- portraying everything in terms of lowering risk tolerance. Way to go, Florio. Cutting off alcohol sales after halftime is a much better way to reduce the risk of personal injury during/after a football game, but keeping people lubed up thru the end of 3 quarters brings in revenue, right?? We lose the jets but keep the drunk idiots amped to the 9″s (just 1 more reason to stay home, in my opinion)

  41. There are plenty of ways to waste tax payer’s money, however, a flyover at a football game is exciting and awe inspiring. If for nothing else, it allows us to see the magnificent skills and technology at work that is actually used to protect our country.

    Come on, football games are a spectacle and I’d rather have my son and daughter witness something like that once in awhile rather than the other mindless stuff that they use to kill commercial time with.

  42. They get rid of the fly overs due to the sequestration, and yet we’re giving Syrian rebels $60 million. Nothing like talking out of our mouth and our arse at the same time….

  43. Flyover always seemed stupid to me, and they flew over enclosed stadiums. Hello? If flyover never existed, John McCain would only have lost 4 jets instead of 5. Once can be mechanical problems, after that it’s operator screw up. The U.S. could have saved about $20 million if McCain never got the chance to crash any jets.

  44. I have a friend that is a pilot in the Navy… they have a required amount of flying they have to do on a monthly basis to assure they aren’t rusty when it comes time to actually do something. My understanding and from what he explained to me is these flyovers are simply used towards the pilots already required training hours and were at no additional cost?

  45. Well if these flyovers are helping us train pilots to bolster our national defense, who do I call to have four F-18s fly over my nephew’s birthday party as he blows out the candles on his cake?

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