Nothing will beat the Stealth Bomber over the Big Chill
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
So, Orson asked the DOD to perform a flyover at his son's first birthday party. I'm not going to weigh in on the merits of the flyover, but there are some key learning points we can all take from his somewhat flawed request. I deal with this shit at work, and need to let it out. Also might help Hoover over at NROTC get some solid flyovers next Fall.
1. Flexibility is key.
Here, Orson has some positives and negatives. On the plus side, he's willing to accept any of the military's prominent demonstration teams. However, you'll notice in block 2 that he specifically requests only F-22 Raptors. They aren't based near Atlanta, Orson's hometown, thus requiring added logistical support. Accepting an AC-130 from Hurlburt or JSF from relatively nearby Eglin AFB might make his request more supportable. Perhaps even a T-34C Turbomentor from Pensacola.
Kids, the military wants to help, help us help you and give us some flexibility.
Other negatives here: the request must be in at least 30 days prior. Planning is important.
2. Don't obviously lie.
Believe it or not, the people who approve flyovers are familiar with this form. Air Traffic Control approval is needed to fly in Atlanta's airspace--it's got one of the busiest airfields in the country. Honesty matters, regardless of what Jim Carey thought in Liar, Liar.
NOT A CLASSIC!
3. Okay, a little lying is okay.
Blocks 11-15, while seemingly innocuous, probably all need to be answered yes to be approved. Check that, the various public relations orders say they MUST be answered "YES."
Block 11. Does the local government approve? It approves by not actively disapproving.
Block 12. YouTube counts. After all, that's how this feedback was obtained:
Those guys aren't pilots anymore--probably.
Block 13. We know it's in the South, but seriously.
Block 14. See Block 13
Block 15. You aren't putting the Monty Burns' sun blocker up, right?
These are creative answers kids. Except 13 and 14. Don't be racist. Seriously.
4. I think everyone is getting the point, but I've got one final thing to remind you of:
1:35 to a military pilot means either a) 0135 (1:35 am) or b) 0135 zulu (6:35 am on the east coast). Either would be a terrifying surprise.
Kids, anyone can get a flyover for their ridiculous public event. Just remember to fill out the form, give everyone 30 days notice, know someone important in the military aviation rank structure, and give some creative answers to very important questions. Work the system well enough, and you might just get this:
Get into the Air Force Academy and you might even get to see a flyover wearing those stupid hats.
Nothing will beat the Stealth Bomber over the Big Chill
... mean it was a stealth fail?
There were actually 6 that flew in formation, but one screwed up, so people saw it. Oops!
I missed the flyover because I was standing in line to get into Section 24. Damn Big House noobs!
This has been... educational? Yes, I guess that fits.
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I'm confident I met the first bullet. It's one of three, right?
The next Super Bowl party I host, I'll have to request one.
Note to self: Open the roof before they arrive.
I want an F22 to fly over the Big House next year at full speed, where I'll be sitting with a radar gun to find out how fast that SOB can fly. I don't care about blown out ear drums, just give me an F22 with full afterburners.
The Big House will be a NO FLYZONE next year.
Cull the Conqueror
Don't give away our national secrets!!!
I'd always thought a Reaper (UAV / RPA / plane without a guy actively in the airframe) hover flyover would be cool, dropping the game ball or something
Speaking as a former Air Force Pilot there is absolutely nothing cool about UAV's. Plus they don't hover.
If all that costs is an extra $100, I'm ordering it for an event no more noteworthy than "Hey Today Is Wednesday"
This diary should be preserved... It actually seems remarkably easy to get a flyover scheduled - much easier than I would have thought.
It's really easy to ask, not so easy to get one approved or actually sourced by an airplane.
I requested and received a flyover for my son's 2nd birthday party. Unfortunately, I checked the wrong box and the Army treated the occasion as live target practice for 4 Apache helicopters. It was pretty messy. Needless to say, we aren't getting many RSVPs for his upcoming 3rd birthday party . . .
they'll even do fly overs if you're in a dome, with the ceiling shut!
Minor quibbles. The AC-130 gunship would be from Hurlburt field(which is an Air Force facility), while the JSF's would come from Eglin Air Force Base which is nearby. Eglin still has F-15's and those are always fun.
When I was still flying I did a few flyby's and believe me when I say there's as much fun for the guys in the planes as they are for the people watching them. I'm glad they've had such a positive reception here for the most part.
Excellent article, I definitely enjoyed it.
My mistake--I actually knew that. I've done a few airshows, etc too. Flyovers are easier and a lot more fun than doing airshow demos. Those were just a hassle.
A couple of our guys crossed the red line at Hurlburt. That, and my time at Vance, resulted in an overwhelming hatred of the Air Force. Bastards.
You were at Vance? So was I. Were you in tweets?