Perfect F-16 Flyover Timing
Say that 10 times fast. It’s one heck of a challenge to conduct a perfect flyover. The ideal flyover is where the jets hit the 50 yard line right as the artists hits the crescendo of their final note. It’s really difficult to do.
During preparation for a flyover, most events pass along the expected time that an artist will take to conduct the National Anthem. But humans are humans. There are often delays in starting the anthem. Then you add in that occasionally artists get enveloped in the moment and extend certain parts of the song. So while event managers do everything they can to start the anthem at the exact briefed time, audibles are common.
For pilots, it is one of the busiest times in the cockpit. They are coordinating with a ground controller who provides them updates on timing. The pilot is also ensuring that they are on track to fly exactly over the stadium at the right second. The ingress route to the stadium provides a few opportunities to adjust timing. It truly is an aerial ballet.
This flyover from the 2019 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals shows what perfection looks like. They crossed midfield during the word “Brave” with a perfect turn over the stadium. (Disregard the video title. They were two F-16s, not Navy jets)