Brian Hester Reporting
May 1, 2020
Let me show you some really cool airplanes. This past Tuesday I ventured out of my home for the first time in almost a week, the first time in almost 50 days for anything other then basic necessities. Why? I wanted to see the big flyover by the US Navy’s, Blue Angels and the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds. This flyover was designed as a tribute to frontline healthcare workers across the area and is one of dozens planned for across the USA over the coming weeks. Very Patriotic. I had planned to get a shot of the planes as they zoomed above the iconic Statue of Liberty while maintaining a safe social distance.
The formation featured six F-16 Fighting Falcons and six F/A-18 Hornets. The joint flyover mission is the first of several planned for cities across the country– including Washington, Baltimore, New York, Trenton, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Austin–over the coming weeks to thank first responders and military personnel.
Flying the squadrons does not come cheap. According to the Washington Post, the flyover costs a minimum of about $60,000 per hour. But a senior military official told the newspaper the flights will come from money already in the Pentagon’s budget.
I like to research things as best I can just to find things out. Verify sources. Google. It’s easy. Try this, google, “Costs of Super Bowl Flyovers” and then google “America Strong Flyover Costs”. Spin. Big difference in costs between the Super Bowl and now. Hard to calculate exactly how much these events cost especially when you factor in the record low costs of fuel these days and the fact that they may be part of longer “training exercises”. If you truly believe that there is zero costs to have these 12 high power fighter jets perform this flyover then I would like to sell you the bridges that they just flew over. Let me show you some really cool airplanes.
As I drove through Jersey City, NJ towards Liberty State Park, I couldn’t help but notice life in the mean streets underneath the overpasses, the world of the homeless, the sex workers and those suffering from addictions. Let me be crystal clear, Jersey City, NJ has plenty of absolutely beautiful neighborhoods and many upscale locations where I could not afford to live. Jersey City Make It Yours. Unfortunately, as is characteristic of any large US city, there exists a mix of haves and have nots. NYC has some of the wealthiest people in the universe. And some of the poorest. It is a city. I digress.
As I drove towards my destination, a quiet little dead end side street near the park with a view to the Statue of Liberty, I passed by some of our societies less fortunate. I had to stop and think of the what this flyover would cost and if the money could have been better spent elsewhere. Even if you care not for the less fortunate over the long term, perhaps we could have dedicated finances and resources towards finding a vaccine? Or ensuring that all frontline workers have all the PPE that they need. Let me show you some really cool airplanes.
Please don’t mistake my desire to better prioritize our resources as me being in anyway un-Patriotic. Nothing could be further from the truth. I support the brave women and men of our armed forces. I am not a fan of the current administration but I would never want the President to fail. That would be akin to wishing for the pilot of a plane that I am flying on to crash. Neither one of us is considering getting of the plane so why wish ill on the pilot. I hope he succeeds. I don’t have a lot of hope for this but its what I hope for. With the short comings of our current administration on full display for the world, with almost 64,000 Americans dead, 20,000 of those dead in coming NYC and NJ combined, with the administration publicly supporting armed militia protesting and encouraging the public to resist state government’s efforts to continue lock downs until the time is safe, I must ask, “Is this the time for a nation wide flyover program?” Just Sayin. Let me show you some really cool airplanes.
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