The Army is reviewing a 4-helicopter flyby at an NFL game that was so low it prompted safety concerns

·2 min read
Military helicopters fly over Nissan Stadium before the Tennessee Titans face the New Orleans Saints at Nissan Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Military helicopters flying over Nissan Stadium before the Tennessee Titans faced the New Orleans Saints on November 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.Silas Walker/Getty Images
  • The Army is reviewing a flyover conducted before a November 14 NFL game in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Video showed helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division's Combat Aviation Brigade flying low.

  • The Army said it was looking into the planning and execution of the helicopter flyby.

The US Army has launched an inquiry into a low-altitude military flyover by helicopter pilots from Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee border before an NFL game on November 14.

The flyover took place at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the New Orleans Saints.

As part of the NFL's "Salute to Service," an annual pregame celebration usually conducted between weeks 10 and 12 of the season, four helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division Combat Aviation Brigade flew low over above the stadium.

Video from inside the cockpit of one of the two 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.

In a video of the flyover, helicopters appear to fly at eye level with fans in the upper decks of the stadium.

On Monday, the local news outlet WTVF reported that the Federal Aviation Administration was following up with the military to see whether the flyover violated aviation rules. A source told Army Times, however, that no representative from the FAA had reached out to the 101st as of Wednesday.

The 101st Airborne Division told Army Times it launched an inquiry Tuesday into the planning and execution of the pregame flyover by the Combat Aviation Brigade.

Larry Williams, a retired FAA official, told WTVF that the flyover could've been "a disaster."

"General reaction, yeah, it was unsafe," Williams told the outlet. "It was very dangerous."

Low flyovers at sporting events have raised red flags in the past. In 2011, Air Force pilots who participated in a flyover before an NCAA football game were disciplined for flying too low and too fast.

The 101st Airborne Division did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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