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.”
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.