A military flyover of an NFL game is being probed by US Army and FAA
The US military and the FAA are investigating a flyover of an NFL game last month to determine whether military helicopters flew too close to civilians, violating aviation regulations.
The 101st Airborne Division is probing for certain if members of its combat aviation brigade broke any FAA rules by flying very low over Nissan Stadium in Nashville during a game between the Tennessee Titans and the New Orleans Saints.
“The Division is undertaking a commander’s investigation into the November 14 flyover,” Lt. Col. Kari McEwen, a spokesperson for the elite division stated.
The FAA also confirmed that it is conducting an investigation but declined to comment further. “The FAA is looking into the incident. We make no comments on ongoing investigations “CNN was informed by a spokesperson.
At the start of the event, four helicopters from the division flew extremely low over the stadium. According to the video, they are flying as low as the top of the upper seat deck.
The military investigation was ordered by the division’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Joseph McGee, and is expected to be completed quickly, according to two military officials. If violations of flight rules are discovered, McGee will have to decide what action to take next.
Military flyovers at sporting events are common, according to several defense officials, and are used to strengthen community relations.
Notwithstanding, in commercial US airspace, the military must adhere to FAA regulations and exemplify that they are flying safely and not endangering civilians.
The investigation will focus on whether the unit violated safety protocols.
Because helicopters can maneuver more quickly than fixed-wing aircraft, they are allowed more flight flexibility under FAA rules, but they must still ensure the safety of civilians on the ground.
Flights over crowded areas must be at least 1,000 feet above the highest obstruction and have a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet, according to FAA regulations.
The FAA stated that helicopters may operate at less than those minimums as long as crews adhere to any routing or altitudes ordered by the FAA.