Civilians To Pilot Planes In Indianapolis 500 Flyover

The military is not doing flyovers at any events because of the sequester.

flyover at Indy500

Photo: The359 (flickr)

Airplanes fly over the track at the Indianapolis 500 in 2008.

Speedway officials were notified about a week ago that the military would not be providing flyovers at any event, including next month’s Indianapolis 500, because of the sequester.

But spectators likely will not notice because there will still be a flyover. It will just be a civilian piloting a decommissioned military aircraft.

This really is not unusual. While the fly over is a tradition at the race, Speedway Chief Operating Officer and Communications Vice President Doug Boles says it’s not always done by the military.

“We’re not doing anything different than we always have,” he says. “We always reach out to civilians because we want to know what our options are each year.  There are a lot of nonprofit organizations that have decommissioned military aircraft and they make them available for airshows and other events.  This year we just knew that we would need to look at a larger pool of opportunities than just what we normally do.”

Boles says the Speedway is sifting through a handful of flyover options it still has on the table.

Sara Wittmeyer

Sara Wittmeyer is the News Bureau Chief for WFIU and WTIU. Sara has more than a decade of experience as a news reporter and previously served with KBIA at the University of Missouri, WNKU at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY, and at WCPO News in Cincinnati.

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