Too-Low Flyover Draws Referee’s Flag

Maj. Christopher Kopacek, a 25th Flying Training Squadron pilot at Vance, AFB, Okla., has received nonjudicial punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for violating altitude and speed restrictions when he led a four-ship of T-38s that overflew a University of Iowa football game in Iowa City last November. Kopacek is separating from the Air Force of his own accord, according to a release Wednesday from Vance’s 71st Flying Training Wing. “While I understand that fans attending the game enjoyed the flyover, rules are in place to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Col. Russell Mack, 71st FTW commander. He added, “[T]his was a serious breach of flight discipline and it was necessary to take administrative action.” Among the violations, the wing’s command-directed investigation found that the pilots flew only 16 feet above the stadium’s press box when the minimum height difference for a flyover is supposed to be 1,000 feet.