Air Force pilot exiting service after punishment for low flyover

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A reckless flyover at a University of Iowa football game in November 2010 has essentially cost an Air Force major his career.

The AP reported Wednesday that Maj. Christopher Kopacek has been administrately punished by the Air Force. Kopacek subsequently “submitted a request to give up his wings” and will soon be exiting the service.

The career-ruining (but crowd-pleasing) flyover  happened before Iowa’s 20-17 loss to Big 10 rival Ohio State on Nov. 20.  Kopacek was the flight leader for the four T-38 Talons from Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma as they passed over the stadium much lower and faster than allowed. The T-38s missed the scoreboard by a mere 16 feet and only cleared the scoreboard by only 58 feet.

The Air Force did not reveal what punishment the three other pilots received.

This is the second time in two seasons that a risky flyover has resulted in punishment for aviators. Two F/A-18 pilots were permanently grounded by the Navy for a low flyover at Georgia Tech football game in Atlanta in 2009.

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