'Unplanned' flyover at Lambeau Field raises questions

Unplanned flyover (WLUK/Tim Flanigan)

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WLUK) -- Fans at the Green Bay Packers game Thursday were treated to an unexpected flyover.

As U.S. Navy helicopters flew over Lambeau, heads looked to the sky. A pair of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters made a quick appearance just seconds after a touchdown early in the first quarter.

The timing was so perfect, fans there thought it was planned.

"Right on cue! Right after Jimmy Graham did the Lambeau Leap, and then the helicopters came in, and it was like, 'Oh, all right. Cool! Something new,’" said Packers fan Andy Harbath.

For another fan traveling all the way from Las Vegas just to cheer the Packers on, Thursday night's flyover was a special treat -- It was the cherry on top her first visit to Lambeau Field.

"We just figured, 'Oh it's just part of the evening!' Last home game…Go Pack!" said Packer fan and Las Vegas resident Joanna Minter.

The Navy helicopters also took the Packers and the Green Bay Police Department by surprise. Both confirmed they were unaware, and this was not at all a planned feature of the game.

They are working with federal authorities to gather more information.

In fact, this was so unexpected, the Navy pilots even caught their own military branch off-guard.

"We're still trying to find out exactly what they were doing,” said U.S. Naval Air Forces public affairs officer Ron Flanders. “We take great pride in our safety and professionalism in the air, and I think it's too early to speculate as to whether or not this was anything other than a normal flight."

Naval Air Forces officials believe the helicopters were in training at the time of the flyover.

They, too, confirmed it wasn't planned, and they will continue to investigate the spontaneous incident.

The Packers director of public affairs, Aaron Popkey, offered a brief update on the flyover.

The helicopter flights over Lambeau Field last night were not a planned component of the game. We are in contact today with the proper authorities to gather more information as to the nature of the flights.




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