For decades, military aircraft have blasted over the tops of stadiums during the national anthem. With sequestration and sweeping federal budget cuts, however, military flyovers have become a thing of the past for the time being. Last month in Kansas City, a group of private pilots took it upon themselves to preform what very well may be the largest formation flyover ever.
On Sunday, October 13th, 2013, 49 homemade Van’s RV aircraft entered a tight formation and synchronized their flyover to occur at the very end of the national anthem. Not only did these pilots pull of an amazing formation flight, but each plane left a pink smoke trail in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Tom McNerne, one of the flying pilots, posted video from his point of view on YouTube and detailed the difficulties of the extreme flyover. “I was flying, if you look close in the reflection you can see I am holding the chart and the stick in my left hand, throttle in my right hand. My wife was right seat keeping an eye on the other traffic. 2 helicopters and the blimp. The obstacle alert is from my Garmin Area 560. If you look at a sectional chart, there are TONS of towers around the stadium. It calls any obstacle even if you’re still above it. Some we were below, hence the urgency. A few towers are 2100 MSL if I remember.”