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Why?

On the local news they reported that four F-15C Eagle aircraft assigned the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB will participate in a fly-over at the start of the Daytona 500 stock car race.

Who is paying for this, and are they paying for the entire cost of this 700 mile round trip?

This isn’t just a matter of jet fuel wasted with the resulting increase in greenhouse gases, but the cost of the crews that will fly, launch, and recover the aircraft on a Sunday during a three-day weekend, the wear and tear on the aircraft.

2 comments

1 Jack K. { 02.16.07 at 10:11 am }

…I’ve wondered about this for a few years now. NASCAR nation being a southern, flag-wavin’, “yee-Haw” institution at its roots, this sort of spectacle went from being almost unheard of to being a weekly event in the ultra-patriotism days after 9/11…

…and I mean WEEKLY. There are 36 Nextel Cup points events between mid-Feb. and late Nov., everywhere from Daytona to Dallas to Dover (Del.) to California (with many stops in between, and every one of them will have a fly-over of F-15’s or F-16’s or B-2’s or the marvelously misnamed F-117 (fighter? No guns; no missles?) or F/A-18’s or Apache’s or Blackhawks or whatever else they can get their hands on. One does wonder just how much this adds up to over the course of a season…

2 Bryan { 02.16.07 at 12:33 pm }

Everything on an aircraft is clocked, i.e. for safety reasons after so many hours engines are swapped, wiring harnesses are replaced, airframes are grounded. There is a limit on flying time for crews. This is expensive. If NASCAR is paying for the total cost, fine, I guess, but I suspect that part of the cost is covered by the Pentagon PR budget.

I get a little touchy on this issue because the Air Force has been turning down requests for “missing man flights” for military funerals because of “operational considerations.” Given that the aircraft are stationed here, and the flights could be conducted in conjunction with normal flight operations, i.e. on the way to and from ranges, 700 mile round trips grate a little.