- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Military does more than 1,000 flyovers per year but doesn’t track cost
“We look at the character and significance of the event, recruiting aspects, expected attendance, media coverage, any other military participation, and whether or not it can be incorporated into an existing mission or training,” Ramsey explained .
Representatives from all of the branches emphasize that flyovers must fit into existing training missions.
Each year, aviation squadrons are given a certain number of flying hours that must be completed, said John Wallach, deputy director at the Navy Office of Community Outreach. Squadrons are required to complete a number of operational training requirements, like takeoffs, landings and holding pattern training.
Once a flyover has been approved and sent to a squadron, the squadron then must find a way to fit that flyover into this already established budget of flying hours. If it can, the flyover request will be granted, according to Wallach.
The squadron members will use the time in the aircraft before or after a flyover to complete some of their operational training requirements, Wallach said. For example, after completing a flyover before a National Football League game, the squadron might also do other training exercises like airway navigation.
“If they don’t knock out the training requirements during a flyover they will do it over the Atlantic Ocean,” Wallach said. “The flying hours that squadron is given is a sunk cost.”
But they don’t come free. The average per hour operational cost of an F/A-18 is approximately $10,000, Dooley said.
Flyovers provide needed training for aviators, said David Tretler, a retired Air Force colonel who has participated in flyovers and now teaches at the National War College. “Anytime you get in an airplane, it’s training,” he said.
Like many missions, flyovers are performed in formation, allowing aviators to practice for real- life scenarios, he said. “Flying in formation is hard,” he said. “It takes a lot of practice and repetition.”
Flyovers also allow aviators to work on precision.
“If you are a bomber pilot, you are supposed to be over a certain target at a certain time, coming from a certain direction,” Tretler said. “[Flyovers] don’t necessarily teach you how to bomb better, but there is a general training level that comes along with it.”
“I guarantee that there are number of young men and women who are attracted to go ahead and sign up because they think that looks really cool,” Tretler said.
Military representatives also view flyovers as a way of helping to educate the American people about the armed services.
“The Marine Corps is an unknown entity in some ways to many Americans,” Dooley said. “We have high recognition by name as an expeditionary fighting force, but our high-tech side and myriad career opportunities are often overlooked.”
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- U.S. deploys 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland as exercise in response to Ukraine situation
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Six Senate seats could hinge on Keystone pipeline
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- CURL: The modern GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again