Washington (CNN) – The U.S. military and the Federal Aviation Administration reviewed an NFL game over flight last month to determine if military helicopters flew too low over civilians in violation of flight regulations.
The 101st Air Force is conducting a military investigation to determine if members of its combat air force violated FAA regulations when it flew low over Nashville’s Nissan Stadium during a game between the Tennessee Titans and the New Orleans.Saints.
“The commander of the 101st Air Force is investigating the November 14 plane crash,” said Lt. Col. Carrie McQueen, a spokeswoman for the Elite Division.
The FAA confirmed further inquiries, but declined to comment further. “The FAA is investigating the incident. We have not commented on pending investigations,” a spokesman told CNN.
At the start of the event four helicopters from that section flew very low over the ground. It looks like the video shows them flying low down to the top of the top seat deck.
Ordered by Maj. Gen. Joseph McKee, commander of the military investigation unit, is expected to be completed soon, two military officials said. If a flight violation is found, McGee should decide what action to take.
Military aircraft are very common in sporting events Used to build relationships with the community, according to various security officials. But in U.S. commercial airspace, the military must demonstrate compliance with FAA regulations and fly safely without endangering civilians.
The key question of the investigation will be whether the division violated security protocols. Under FAA regulations, helicopters have more flexibility than standard wings in their aircraft because they can maneuver quickly, but still need to ensure the safety of civilians on the ground.
According to FAA regulations, aircraft flying in congested areas must operate at an altitude of at least 1,000 feet above the highest barrier with a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet. According to the FAA, helicopters can operate at less than that minimum, as long as the crew complies with any of the routes or altitudes mandated by the FAA.
Paul LeBlanc of CNN contributed to this report.
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