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Off-base aviation support improves community relations

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Duane Duimstra
  • 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Whether its fighter jets, cargo planes, or bombers, a military flyover/flyby is a sight to see. They are a military tradition that is exciting for Air Force members to participate in and also electrifying for the surprised spectators to witness.

Flyovers, officially classified as off-base aviation support, are non-funeral events where military aircraft fly in formation to represent patriotic observance of that event.  A Flyby is an aerial salute performed as part of a funeral or memorial event, typically in memory of a fallen pilot.  They are not appropriate for all occasions and there are policies and guidelines to follow before a flyover or flyby can happen.

Requesting one is only considered for aviation-related events or patriotic observances held in conjunction with formal observances. There are exceptions to the policy such as funerals for military members and government officials with certain accolades and community events that will require Air Force operations approval for participation and an exception-to-policy.

"Air Force higher headquarters has taken over the approval process for all aerial events," said Maj. Travis Schuring, 114th Fighter Wing executive support officer. "This includes flyovers, flyby, static displays, aerial demonstrations or parachute team performances."

When a request has been approved and all guidelines are met, the unit will work directly with the requester on allocation of flying hours and man power to accomplish the mission.

The 114th Fighter Wing recently participated in a flyover for a South Dakota State University football game and a flyby at the funeral to repatriate fallen World War II U.S. Air Force pilot, 1st Lt. Ben Barnes. Both events were successful in instilling enjoyment and increasing military support from the community.

"The community had a positive reaction to the flyby," said 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, 114th Operations Group pilot. "It was an honor to be a part of it and to be able to do it for the community."

Visit http://www.airshows.pa.hq.af.mil/ for more information and to request off-base aviation support.