The sight of a low-flying Warthog — the Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt II tank killer — may strike fear into the hearts of ISIS in Syria. But in Charlotte, North Carolina, it just raises questions.
Air Force blogger JohnQPublic says the A-10s were from Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. The Air Force grounded the pilots after receiving FAA complaints about the August 29, 2016 low-altitude flyover. Regulations say aircraft must be at least 1,000 feet higher than the highest structure.
The Warthogs flew over the stadium in the middle of a practice game August 29. The Panthers were understandably surprised.
fighter jets flying past bank of america stadium in charlotte pic.twitter.com/KgtQkSV7qL
— zakk zwier (@zakkx) August 29, 2016
The pilots took the time to tilt over the field and give the Carolina Panthers a wave, head coach Ron Rivera told the Charlotte Observer.
“Oh yeah, we most certainly were caught off-guard. You kind of see everybody wondering what’s going on,” Rivera also reportedly said.
Rivera added it was “pretty awesome.”
It was not so awesome to the citizens of Charlotte, who were perplexed and frightened.
Two fighter jets just buzzed by my window of the high rise bldg I work in – uptown Charlotte NC. Scary!
— Julie H Saunders (@JHSaunders) August 29, 2016
@ESPortillo I’m on the 42nd floor of Duke and it scared the crap out of us. It was at our level. Any ideas?
— Brandon (@bmcgrotha) August 29, 2016
That’s the sound of freedom, Charlotte. If the Panthers win the Super Bowl this year, it will be because they started the season the way the Air Force ends gunfights – with an A-10 flyover.
Moody will likely keep an eye on the mail for its thank you card.