Army now examines 4-helicopter flyby during NFL game that was so low it raised safety concerns
- The Army will review a helicopter flight conducted prior to an NFL game on November 14 in Nashville.
- The video showed helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade flying low above the crowds.
- The military has announced that it is studying the planning and execution of the helicopter overflight.
The U.S. Army has opened an investigation into a low-level military overflight by helicopter pilots from Fort Campbell, Tennessee, ahead of an NFL game on November 14.
The flyby took place at Nissan Stadium in Nashville during the NFL’s “Salute to Service,” an annual pre-game celebration that typically takes place between weeks 10 and 12 of the season, before the game itself between. the Titans of Tennessee and the Saints of New Orleans.
Four helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division Combat Aviation Brigade were involved in the flight over the stadium before the start of the match.
Video of the interior of the cockpit of one of the AH-64 Apaches, posted on the Titans Twitter account, appeared to show the helicopter flying below the highest point in the stadium. The Apaches were joined by a CH-47 Chinook and a UH-60 Black Hawk.
—Tennessee (@Titans) November 16, 2021
In a video of the flyby, helicopters appear to fly at fan eye level on the stadium’s upper decks.
On Monday, local media outlet WTVF reported that the Federal Aviation Administration was following up with the military to see if the overflight violated aviation rules. However, a source told Army Times that no FAA representative had contacted the 101st as of December 1.
The 101st Airborne Division told the Army Times it launched an investigation into the planning and execution of the Combat Aviation Brigade’s pre-match flyby on November 30.
Larry Williams, a retired FAA official, told WTVF the flyby could have been “a disaster.”
“General reaction, yeah, that was dangerous,” Williams told point of sale. “It was very dangerous.”
Low overflights at sporting events have raised red flags in the past. In 2011, Air Force pilots who participated in a flyby before an NCAA football game were penalized for flying too low and too fast.
The 101st Airborne Division did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.