ORLANDO, Fla. – The roar of fighter jets and the spectacle of aircraft flying in tight formations in the sky is a view most awe at when given the opportunity.
Whether it’s at sporting games, special events, or at a military funeral, people take a moment to watch these planes make their patriotic flight. Turns out, you can request a similar spectacle.
The Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force participate in flyovers each year. They’re arranged through each respective community relations office and can include parachute demonstrations.
These flyovers have become more of a public service during the coronavirus pandemic, as military pilots take to the sky to honor frontline workers.
The Florida National Guard will honor Orlando area first responders Wednesday. The 125th Fighter Wing set to create the exhibition in the sky just before noon.
If you wanted to do something similar, you’d have to fill out a formal request.
That request involves getting permission from the event site organizer, a signature from the sponsoring organization and approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). All of that information will need to be filled out in this form.
Requests should be submitted at least 90 days in advance, but no sooner than 30. It will be up to the Air Force and Army to determine whether the event eligible for support, according to the National Guard’s aerial support requests page.
People can even request different categories such as a single aircraft demonstration, static display, or a parachute demonstration. Those requesting the flyover will also be asked to select an aerial demonstration team which includes the U.S. Army Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
Keep in mind, the request form is a detailed four pages, asking people specific information including the runway length and width to even planned media coverage of the event complete with contact information.
As for costs, that will be dependent on the type of event. The military typically deducts flyover funds from its training budget but the organization requesting the flyover may be responsible for pilots’ lodging and meals. Those details are to be worked out with the specific armed forces one is requesting the flyover from.
So keep in mind as you watch your next flyover that you could get one too -- it would just take a few forms and some planning.