Military plane in Colts game flyover prompts flood of calls

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Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - A low-flying plane over downtown Indianapolis caused quite a concern for many people Thursday night. Our newsroom received several calls of concern from people who saw it.

The Indianapolis Colts' Thursday night game will be remembered for more than just the team's preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Colts grounded the Eagles but the pregame flyover is another story.

An amateur photographer captured a low flying KC-135 Stratotanker circling the city skyline. Residents even called 911 to report the unusual occurrence.

"It got pretty close. I was like, wow, it is not supposed to get that close. Kind of scaring me," said one caller.

"We've had a lot of calls about it today," the dispatch operator replied. "It's the Colts doing some promotion with it."

"The Colts doing some promotion? Not a very good idea," the caller said.

"We are getting call after call after it. We didn't know nothing about it 'til you guys started calling and then we had to check into it," said the operator.

The FAA cleared up the matter Friday.

"The 82nd Airborne requested a waiver from the FAA to do a parachute jump in Greenfield, Indiana. In addition they also requested a waiver for a fly-by over the city of Indianapolis and so we granted the waiver. Everything was legal and they did what they said they were going to do," said Elizabeth Isham Corry, FAA.

The low flying KC-135 is a military aircraft used for aerial refueling for other military plans during long flights and it appeared in this amateur video that the boom was somewhat extended during the flyover, which was believed to be in conjunction with the Colts home game. In fact, the Colts have used the KC-135 for a previous flyover without incident.

The FAA said notice is posted on its website when there are any variations from the norm to make sure to clear the airspace.

Normally fighter jets are involved with flyovers and the holding pattern is much further out than the city skyline but the KC-135 arrived ten minutes early and therefore was in a downtown holding pattern - which certainly attracted a lot of attention.

The reaction to the flyover has caused a change. From now on the Colts say they will issue a press release prior to any scheduled flyovers to avoid any potential problems.