How not to do a flyover

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Awesome? Yes.

Worth it? Probably not.

Two F/A-18 pilots have been grounded — permanently — for this flyover at the Georgia Tech-Wake Forest game in Atlanta on Nov. 7. My esteemed Navy Times colleague Mark Faram reports that the two pilots went over the stadium too low, and that the commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic was not amused.

The pilots, who both attended Georgia Tech, are identified by Navy Times sources as Lt. Cmdr. Marc Fryman and Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Condon. Their boss, Rear Adm. R.J. O’Hanlon, reportedly did not buy the explanation that the low flyover was an “honest mistake,” and an investigation report obtained by Navy Times contained a scathing condemnation of the pilots’ actions.

“Fryman failed to provide effective [composite risk management]for his flight lead and allowed an unsafe flyby to occur with nearly tragic consequences,” O’Hanlon wrote of the mission commander. “Despite his spotless record, his complacent, passive response to a major altitude transgression is unforgivable in my view.

“Continued aviation service involving flying is not in the best interest of Lt. Cmdr. Fryman or the United States Navy.”

Oof.

From a completely non-military, non-journalistic view, I hope this incident doesn’t influence any universities or pro teams to decide against having flyovers. I’ve been to a few games where the flyover was easily the highlight of the afternoon (the only time I’ve ever seen a B-2 Spirit was at a North Carolina-Notre Dame football game a few years ago). It’d be a shame if this incident gives the people responsible for these events pause.

Read the full story on NavyTimes.com.

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  1. George P. Burdell on

    Definite overreaction on the part of the Admiral. Admirals are, in general, as the saying used to go “like a teat on a boar hog”, i.e. “useless”. About the same as today’s Washington politicians, many of whom are for the most part worthless. When it comes to preserving our great nation, I’ll take one skilled (and yes daring) active pilot, over a hundred useless, pencil pushing, ladder climbing, self-centered admirals any day! I note elsewhere that the good Admiral was once the executive officer on the USS Carl Vinson. Well Carl Vinson was once my Congressman and I can assure you he would have kicked the good Rear Admiral’s Rear back to his hometown of New York City. By the way, I was at the game and it was an awesome flyover and helped instill pride regarding our military in thousands of spectators. God bless America! Not so much pompous Rear Admirals!

  2. This is a ‘nice’ flyover…however, check out the flyover from the Navy-TCU game of ’04…now that was incredible. I was sitting in the top corner row and thought the planes were coming right at me – one even dipped it’s wing into the stadium…it was AWESOME.

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