Other air traffic blamed for dangerous Kinnick flyover - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Other air traffic blamed for dangerous Kinnick flyover

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The Air Force pilot that led the flyover on Nov. 20, that cleared the Kinnick Stadium scoreboard by just 58 feet says he flew at a lower altitude because of other air traffic.

Records released to The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information act, show that Maj. Christopher Kopacek descended after learning two planes had taken off from the Iowa City Airport without clearance.

Air traffic control warned that one of the planes might be in the path of the formation, which was made up of four jets.

Maj. Kopacek, of Ankeny, also said he lost track of his altitude because he was "task saturated."  He told investigators he was busy making adjustments and lost track of his altitude.

Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma announced last month that Maj. Kopacek was leaving the Air Force on his own accord.

The investigation found that Maj. Kopacek violated several internal rules.

The jets cleared the press box by just 16 feet.

The flyover was performed before the Hawkeyes took on Ohio State.

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