Why are the Feds Investigating This Saints Game Military Flyover?
The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it is beginning a formal investigation into a helicopter flyover prior to the recent New Orleans Saints NFL game.
The pregame event, which took place at a November 14 road game against the Tennessee Titans, involved four combat helicopters from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division.
According to Nashville's News Channel 5, videos of the event are "raising concerns (that) some...appeared to show the choppers passing just beneath some sort of cable. The Titans said it was actually cables used to hold the field goal nets."
However, the Nashville station also says that their own videos show "those cables are connected to the bottom of the top deck, which means the Army helicopters would have flown above them."
But Channel 5 also quotes a former aviation inspector as saying that the aircraft should have been flying well above the stadium rim. "They weren't going too fast," he told the station, "but they got way too low."
Federal Aviation Administration rules generally require military flyovers to be 1,000 feet above the stadium's highest point.
A crowd in excess of 69,000 attended the game.