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Posted on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:32 a.m.

F-16 fighter jets fly over Ann Arbor ahead of U-M vs. Nebraska pregame show

By Cindy Heflin


F-16 fighter jets

U.S. Air Force photo

Those military jets you may have heard in the skies above Ann Arbor this morning were two of four F-16 fighter jets that will fly over Michigan Stadium on Saturday before the University of Michigan-Nebraska game.

Two jets flew over the Ann Arbor area about 10:40 a.m. Two more F-16s are expected to fly over sometime Friday on their way to Selfridge Air National Guard Base, near Mount Clemens, said Capt. Penny Carroll, chief of public affairs at the base.

The F-16s are part of the 169th Fighter Wing of the South Carolina Air National Guard, located at McEntire Joint National Guard Base.

The four jets will spend the night at Selfridge before taking off Saturday for the flyover, Carroll said.

U-M is staging a military appreciation event Saturday. Michigan Gold Star families and University of Michigan staff and student veterans have been invited to a pregame tailgate.

The Michigan Marching Band's pregame performance will pay tribute to the armed services with a medley of military songs from each of the branches. The pregame ceremonies will conclude with the jet flyover at the end of the national anthem.


Megan Greene

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 12:34 a.m.

I don't like the link between sports and the military. What, is it an expensive recruitment tactic for college students? It's grandstanding and covertly pro war. I just don't like it.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

Oh, Megan, I'll bet those aren't the only things you don't like. Personally, I like to know there are people who can protect us, and it's not the sport, it's the number of people gathered who can show their appreciation for what others do to protect us as a nation.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

I very much appreciated the events honoring our military at the game today. I was sitting next to a gentleman who is a 30 year season ticket holder. Being a new fan, I asked him if this type of event was held every year, and he said that this is the first time that he has ever seen one. When those jets flew over, I got tears in my eyes. The card event forming the large American flag was touching as well. It was absolutely amazing, and I hope UM holds other such events. Go Blue!!


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 10:37 p.m.

UofM staged a military appreciation event during the football game…Was that paid from Mary Sue Coleman's salary or the athletic department.? If I paid for it, STOP wasting my tax dollars. I can provide other less costly ideas to honor our military.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 9:50 p.m.

Don't worry, I'm guessing you're part of the 55% of this country that didn't pay any taxes. As part of the 10% that pay most of the taxes, your welcome.


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 12:45 a.m.

that's federal income tax, not taxes.

Huron 74

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

I'm hearing the planes now. Awesome. People, those are our planes, our people flying them. I'm really glad to know that NOBODY better mess with the good old USofA!!!

Jeff Renner

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

A formation of four just flew over Scio Township heading SSE.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

Yes, I heard them; mistakenly ran out the north door of the house, by the time I made it to the south door they were almost out of sight! LOVE it!


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

Jet noise: The sound of freedom.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

Also stated in the article is "Military Appreciation Event." Enough said in my opinion.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

Of course you could reverse that negative comment from Homeland Conspiracy to "Look what your tax dollars have purchased for the defense of your country. We keep them training so you will be safe." Fun for the game, nice plug for the military, good training exercise for the pilots Nah! that would go against Conspiracy's mindset.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

Its sad we're covering a couple of jets flying over the city as a headline news, very sad.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 12:52 a.m.

Everyone should appreciate the military jet show since directly or indirectly we the people of MI are footing the bill.....via a public university sports program that claims that all the money it earns as a representative of that publicly-funded university is now private and separate therefore that money only goes to fund sports programs, scholarships for athletes that get 20 qualifying points above others, special buildings/educational goodies and outrageous salaries to the coaching staff....not just to the 8th highest paid coach...but the staff with all the other perks not published too. By the way, questioning the spending cost is not anti-American, anti-military or's just commonsense and American. After all, having a dissenting opinion is what Americans are suppose to have...contrary to what is often spewed by those who follow blindly when speaking about UM.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

My father was in the Air Force during WW II: Bronze Star, Silver Star and Air Medal for valor. When you live and grow up with one of these true heroes, you certainly do get insights and still deeply appreciate what it means to see and hear OUR Air Force in the skies over Ann Arbor. Thanks be also to Pratt & Whitney, General Dynamics and General Electric for producing these wonderful roaring engines in the F-16. Greetings to the Nebraska Corn Huskers: we hope you enjoy the show -and that you remember your visit to the Big House for many years to come (not in a good way though).


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

To Homeland Conspiracy, Here's a thought, let's never practice flying and see how vulnerable that leaves us from a national security standpoint.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

Uof M should have to pay ALL the expenses involved in this stunt since it is PR for them. Don't stick it to the taxpayers.

Terry Star21

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

Brady Hoke just called, he is paying for the flyover to cool those down who think he makes too much money coaching (although he is really underpaid).

Terry Star21

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:21 p.m.

PS - The flyovers are a great part of Michigan football Saturday - they offer the pilots important training time to get ready to DEFEND OUR NATION. So button it up all you naysayers and start enjoying life - it's great !

Fred Crothers

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

Negative comments are usually by those who are also against any kind of military support! To me it is a celebration of our service men and women who continue to give ALL of us the privilege to be free and to have the RIGHT to free speech! So if the Air Force wants to use MY tax dollars to train on close formation AND to honor the Military forces in conjunction with that training HAIL to THE RED, WHITE and BLUE!!!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

Ours asked me on the phone if WW III started. I told ours that this was just a test to scare the high school students. Not. At least we now know why we got the weird phone calls.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

Just saw them again today, half an hour it!! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Jeff Renner

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:56 p.m.

My son, a UM grad, flies F/A-18s in the Navy. When his squadron got back from the Gulf after the invasion of Iraq (they were on the USS Abraham Lincoln, which spent ten months at sea, longer than any carrier had since Vietnam), I went with him to the UM Athletic Department where he arranged for a flyover of four F/A-18's. Unfortunately, after he did the groundwork, the Navy decided that his West Coast squadron was too far away, so an East Coast squadron flew it. He was bummed. He still has it on his list of things to do while he's in the Navy. He has flown four times over the years to visit us, twice from each coast, landing at the Toledo Express airport twice and twice at Selfridge. It's amazing that he could just take a hot fighter jet and fly it here (three legs from the West coast, directly from the East), but as was mentioned above, the pilots have to fly a certain number of hours a month, and this kind of cross country trip is legitimate training. The times he flew from Virginia, he phoned us before he taxied out to tell us to leave for Selfridge, and it took us longer to get there than it did him. It was a thrill to hear him call in on the radio (we were waiting for him in operations) and then go out and see him approach and land. One time in Toledo, he did a touch-and-go and then banked hard a few hundred feet above us, and we could see him in the cockpit as he roared over with full afterburner.

J. A. Pieper

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

There is nothing like seeing our planes (Air Force, Navy, any branch of military) fly over - we should all have respect and honor for what our military people do for us. Better our military flying over (and yes, spending our tax dollars) than having someone else's military fly over! Unless you have experienced what our military does for us first hand, take our word, everyone here in this country has a lot to be thankful for! Raised in a military family, dad in three different wars, three generations of family putting their life on the line for each and every one of us! I am not pro war, just totally supportive of our very special people.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

You are a lucky, lucky American Dad. Congrats - it must be wonderful for you!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

Thank you for sharing you and your son: Go Blue!!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

Pretty cool, Jeff. Thanks for sharing.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

I'm very glad that my first thought when fighter jets fly over is, 'huh, they must be practicing for a game fly over, wonder if the blimp is here too?', instead of something more ominous. Trying not to take that for granted.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

Ours thought WW III started. I told ours nice knowing ya. See you at home for dinner.

Top Cat

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

If you ever want to see up close what F-16s are really capable of, I suggest seeing the Viper East F-16 Demonstration Team at the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show next August.

John of Saline

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 9:01 p.m.

That air show is over, smokeblwr.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

Or going to Libya to check it out.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:27 p.m.

The United States Air Force: ** never a re-building year ** all games are played on the road ** travels well! ** Versitile - can run ANY Formation! But Best of all..... ** Holds #1 ranking in TOTAL Defense!!! Outstanding!

Big Splash

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:27 p.m.

Heard the palnes this morning, too; made me stop and think. Glad tol earn they were ours.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

Just remember that we didn't have those in the air for 2 days. Made for a nice quiet week.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

Too many Bah-humbug people out there. What's up with that? Enjoy the free and very brief air show...GO BLUE!!!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

Maverick &amp; Goose! &quot;You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips&quot;... &quot;Son, your ego's writing checks that your body can't cash!&quot; &quot;Wood's been hit! Wood's been hit!&quot; &quot;Goose! Eject, eject, eject!&quot;

Mike Johnson

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

&quot;Top Gun&quot; is a fun movie, but F-16s don't have RIOs (Radar Intercept Officers). Maverick and Goose were Navy pilots flying the F-14A Tomcat. Totally different plane.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

Cindy, is there any way of knowing if they are going to fly North to South or South to North? If so it would be great to know in advance. Thanks...I'll be watching from outside

Thick Candy Shell

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

South to North, they will be staging in the Milan area to time the approach properly.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8 p.m.

I heard it sitting here at my desk, I was like &quot;what was that?&quot; Makes sense!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

There they go again (2:45 PM)


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

he posted at 2:48... they flew over again just minutes ago.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Beat me to it!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

Taken from an aviation forum regarding cost per hour of flight for various aircraft: Gripen $3,000 - $4,500 USD F-16 approximately $5,000 USD Rafale $16,000 USD F-22 $19,000-$40,000 USD F-15C $17,000-$30,000 USD Eurofighter Typhoon - $14,000 USD

Terry Star21

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:14 p.m.

Easy medic....these are practice runs, they have to get so many hours to train to DEFEND OUR NATION !!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

A2Medic for the win? Thanks for the info.

Atticus F.

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

My best guess, judgeing by how fast I've seen them move is that they could make it to Florida in about an hour. $22k would probably be the cost if they were to travel 700+ mph, full throttle.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

The SR-71 blackbird flys at Mach3 and could make it from coast to coast in 1 hr., 7 min., 54 sec. Mach3 is 2 283.6MPH


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8 p.m.

The distance from Ann Arbor to Panama City Fl. is less than 1,000 miles, &quot;the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point&quot; It also has a speed of Mach2 or about 1,500 MPH. TY TCS for the link.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

Ok, it can hit Mach 2, but the range listed, (2,000 miles), is that at crusing speed or pushing Mach1-2?

Thick Candy Shell

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:51 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

Atticus my friend, I believe you may be mistaken about an F-16 going from MI to FL. A SR-71 could do MI to FL in an hour, perhaps less. Does the F-16 have enough fuel to push 700mph to FL on 1 tank?


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:52 p.m.

Isn't it refreshing to see Ann Arbor and U of M do a military appreciation event? I guess people are waking up!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

What are you talking about?


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

$22,000.00 per hour to that a fact? Probably not.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

Hey, I read $22,000. per hour on this thread so it must be true. Of course Homeland could have said $5,000 an hour or $100,00, whichever, it would be fact because he said.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:06 p.m.

While I enjoy a flyover, having to fork the bill sticks me a bit. If they're going to use flyovers, how about keeping it local and have them bring the A-10 Warthogs from Selfridge or BC?


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

AC-130? No way. Those things pack a mean punch, but they're big and slow. They put warthogs in movies because they're really maneuverable at low speeds *and* they have that nasty gun. Nothing better than a warthog. B1s (they're amazing in flyovers at the Chicago airshow) and F15s (accelerate straight up!) are the only things nearly as cool.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

don't worry redwingshero, I'm guessing your part of the 55% of this country that didn't pay any taxes. As part of the 10% that pay most of the taxes, Your welcome.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

True, I saw them flyover when they had the home opener against UConn two year ago. &quot;Flyovers&quot; in Afghanistan is putting is loosely. 7-8k rounds/min is pretty good for a flying tank. Ugly as sin, but I love them to death. Only thing better is the C-130 gunship ( Spooky)


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

Most of our A-10's are in Afganistan right now doing &quot;flyovers&quot; on bad guys.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

Oh my...F-16's {sigh} no such thing as a boring fighter pilot!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

Blue Angels have it good don't they? Ours wants to but can't. Wears glasses.

Kara Marie

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

Ah gosh, I was wondering what that was. Scared the crap outta me. Usually if I know about it, I don't care, but this one I had no clue was going to happen.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

Yeah, we heard them too out here by the Airport and were like, that's not anything from the A2 airport.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

Cindy - What time is the flyover tomorrow scheduled for? I would like to see them, even though I won't be at the game.

Tony Dearing

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

The flyover should occur right be kickoff, and kickoff is scheduled for noon.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

An F-16 cost about $22,000.00 per hr to fly. This will be paid for by us the US tax payer, &amp; for what a football game!


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 12:04 a.m.

So cool. Money well spent. Add another flyover, I'd be willing to kick in for it.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 10:27 p.m.

@Homeland Conspiracy: Don't worry, the military already budgeted 22,000,000 annually for F-16 Football flyovers and it comes out of the &quot;Recruiting&quot; account.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

Who invited Debbie Downer?

Mike Johnson

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:27 p.m.

I agree with bunnyabbot...the pilots have to train anyway, might as well swing them over the stadium on their way. And it is truly an awesome sight!

Jeremy Miller

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

Where did get that number given you do not know the age, variant or any service history of these planes. Like Hans said, my 10 year old USMC time, granted infantry, we train, we don't play. Even if Marines were stationed as Guards at the stadium we use as a excuse to train or validate previous training.

Hans Masing

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:29 p.m.

Note that this is a reserve unit doing the flyover. This is most likely coupled with a cross-country training exercise. When I was in the Marines (albeit 25 years ago), and my F-4 squadron used to do these all the time. They were always coordinated with existing training and such, and *very* rarely involved taking the aircraft out of the hangars just for a flyover across the country.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

Awesome, love those flyovers.