Four Air Force Pilots Grounded. Onlookers Shocked as Jet Buzzes Bank of America Stadium

 

The A-10 Warthog (Photo: Public Domain)

The A-10 Warthog (Photo: Public Domain)

August 31, 2016

By Lorra B.

After a low-altitude buzz-by over the Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte on Monday, four Air Force jet pilots find themselves grounded, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Taking part in a navigational training session from Charlotte to Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, the A-10 ‘Warthogs,’ like all planes flying over busy city areas, are instructed to remain “1,000 feet above the highest obstacle,” according to Federal Aviation officials.

On Monday, however, an A-10 dove very low over many buildings including the Bank of America Stadium where the Carolina Panthers were practicing.

The incident caught players and bystanders off guard. Alarmed, several onlookers posted to social media.

“… fighter jets just buzzed by my window of the high rise bldg I work in – uptown Charlotte NC. Scary!” wrote Julie H. Saunders on Twitter.

The Panthers coach, Ron Rivera, said that he was stunned by the jets. “Oh yeah, we most certainly were caught off-guard. You kind of see everybody wondering what’s going on. I really appreciated that. I like the fact that they waved at us as they went over…pretty awesome.”

Both Moody officials and the FAA stated that they are looking into the incident but air traffic controllers said they had approved the request made by the pilots to fly over the stadium after departing from Charlotte Douglas on their return flight to Georgia.

“The aircraft that buzzed Charlotte were part of the 74th fighter squadron of the 23rd Wing,” reports The Charlotte Observer, and are referred to as the ‘Warthog’ because of the fierce look of the plane, some displaying painted teeth on its nose.

Twitter, was abuzz with news of the A-10’s actions.

OK, so it wasn’t our four pilots buzzing the Bank of America Stadium, but it was worth showing!

The four Buzz-by pilots, until the investigation is complete, will be “restricted from flight duties.”

Related Video: 

By Lorra B.

17 thoughts on “Four Air Force Pilots Grounded. Onlookers Shocked as Jet Buzzes Bank of America Stadium

  1. Some of the comments are missing the point. These guys could be told to turn in their wings. If it wasn’t so expensive to train them that would likely be the case. Many attributes are required to become a combat pilot, “Judgement,” among them. They should be given an article 15 and suspended pay for a period of time. Complete jerks.

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  2. Every weekend of NASCAR during the National Anthem there is a low altitude (on the deck fly-by) guess the only thing wrong here was unauthorized deviation from flight their flight plan. Nothing here folks but it is a good post, and gets the grey cells warmed up for the rest of the day… Thanks for the ‘off the flight plan’ routine stuff, good post Laura B.

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  3. How slow were these jets flying that the coach said he could see the pilots waving at them when they passed by? Frankly, don’t ground these guys…give them a medal for their ability! Have you ever tried to fly a plane that low and avoid all of the terrain??? I’ve only tried to do it on a flight simulator…and I crashed every time!

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  4. Unfortunately, A-10s are being cut back too. They are great planes and relatively inexpensive/cost efficient. It takes a daring pilot to fly them in combat. Maybe the suspended pilots were training for overseas duty; I hope their suspension is much shorter than Tom Brady’s.

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