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Sequester could ground flyovers at football games

Cody Cousino / Multimedia editor

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There might not be military jets flying over Ohio Stadium during patriotic celebrations in years to come as a result of sequestration, a series of budget cuts set to remove $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade.
As reported in USA Today, flyovers will be grounded if the budget cuts are fully implemented. Only if lawmakers can come to an agreement on an alternative budget will flyovers continue.
Multiple Ohio State Athletic Department spokespeople either declined to comment or did not return requests for comment. The OSU Air Force ROTC and the Ohio National Guard also did not return requests for comment.
In an interview with USA Today, Wendy Varhegyi, chief of the engagement division for Air Force public affairs, said flyovers are not that expensive to taxpayers.
“It’s no additional cost to the government for support of any public events. Typically, if you see a unit fly over a football game, that is 90 seconds out of a several hour training sorte that they’re flying,” Varhegyi said.
Pilot and Fourth-year in avaition management Matt Anderson said he isn’t too concerned about the cut, but said the U.S. will probably see some changes to the way it manages flying.
“The U.S. is pretty well known to have the safest airlines in the world,” Anderson said. “The way I see it is we’re going to see a rise in costs or a drop in safety.”
Anderson said he wasn’t surprised flyovers were an easy thing to cut.
Thomas Moyer, a first-year in exploration, said he was not happy with the possible removal of the flyovers.
“I don’t feel that it’s wasting that much money for what it gets out of it. It’s a pretty minuscule thing to cut for how much excitement it generates,” Moyer said.
Other students disagree.
Emily Cockley, a fourth-year in ceramic arts, said while she is sad to see the flyovers go, the money saved is worth it.
“On one side, I understand that there are more important things to spend money on than a flyover at a football game. But do I wish we had the money to spend on patriotism? Absolutely, but when it comes down to it, my patriotism is going to come down on the side of spending money where we need to,” Cockley said.
Brian Rhea, a fourth-year in biochemistry, said he did not think it was a big deal to cut flyovers.
“It’s always cool to see jets, but I imagine they’ll still have air shows. I don’t think we need to show our military might at football games. It’s sort of outrageous,” Rhea said.

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