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Budget Cuts Mean Fewer Military Flyovers at Sporting Events

Tom Pennington, Getty Images

Get ready for less sonic boom in your pre-game entertainment: federal budget cuts mandated by the U.S. government’s sequester include stadium flyovers made by U.S. military aircraft prior to major sporting events.

Flyovers by Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels have become commonplace at sporting events such as NASCAR races, the MLB All-Star Game, the Super Bowl and some college bowl games. The flyovers are part of training hours that were among the services parsed in the $85 billion budget cuts set to begin on Friday. The final flyover is currently scheduled for the NASCAR race in Las Vegas on March 10.

“The Thunderbirds are expected to stand down effective April 1. (Las Vegas) is pretty much going to be, I think, the last flyover you’ll see for a while from us,” Wendy Varhegyi, chief of the engagement division for Air Force public affairs, said.”

The Navy’s Blue Angels are also suspending their flyovers under the sequester. The first fiscal year under the sequester ends Sept. 30. The cuts are set to be in place for 10 years.

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