For many viewers, the Super Bowl doesn't really start until they see the flyover. This year, the National Football League had the 101st Airborne Division buzz over the 2014 game with a multi-ship formation of helicopters.
The pilots and crew from CH-47 Chinooks and UH-60 Blackhawks timed their flyover perfectly, passing over the open stadium just after the last note of National Anthem. YouTube user TheNolanK told The Blaze he published the unique view of the event for his friend Army Specialist David Wilf, who shot the video out the side door of one of the Chinooks.
If you watch closely at the top left of the screen you can see the lights flicker against the helicopter blades, and at 34 seconds you can hear - presumably - the camera operator give an excited "wahoo" after completing the flyover on time.
The helicopters flew in formation with "one disc" – the size of the rotating blades, about 40 feet – of the other aircraft while traveling in formation at 80 knots, according to the Leaf Chronicle.
The video is slightly grainy, but the camera operator turned around to shoot out the back of the helicopter and capture the fireworks that blasted just after they passed over the stadium. (Image source: YouTube)
The Army said their "time-on-target" over the goalpost was 1805 hours, 6:05 p.m. Flyover timing is coordinated days in advance with NFL pre-game show producers and staff. The pilots and crew take every second into account, including how long the performer will take to belt out all the National Anthem words.
According to the Leaf Chronicle, Col. Thomas Drew, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade commander, said the mission was assigned through normal channels via FORSCOM (United States Army Forces Command), which received the NFL flyover request.
"There was a lot of coordination with the FAA, all the airspace and all the people involved to make it happen ... [o]n the aviation side, it’s fairly simple. It’s a normal training event for us, and it’s good training for us,” Drew said.
Check out the video below!
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