10/11 NOW talks with Nebraska Football Flyover pilots

It’s a flight that Husker Nation only sees for five seconds, but that’s all that’s needed to...
It’s a flight that Husker Nation only sees for five seconds, but that’s all that’s needed to get the crowd going. The army flyover crew consists of 17 members.(Nicole Griffith)
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 5:54 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Nebraska Football is known for its traditions. The sell-out streak, balloon release after the first score, and the military fly over during the national anthem. The flyover doesn’t last long, but its preparations takes months.

It’s a flight that Husker Nation only sees for five seconds, but that’s all that’s needed to get the crowd going.

The army flyover crew consists of 17 members. Some are flying in their first flyover, another man is flying in his fifth. It’s his last as he’s retiring in January. There’s also a married couple, and they all get to see the sea of red from 500 feet up.

Two hours before kickoff and the U.S. Army National Guard was briefing ahead of their only Nebraska Football Flyover this season.

“We just want to make sure that things are timed right and it looks sharp and gives the fans what they want to get pumped up because it’s the last game of the year and against Iowa so you want to put your best foot forward,” said Captain Joshua Pryor, Black Hawk pilot.

Captain Pryor flew one of the three Black Hawk helicopters. It was his first flyover and his aircraft flies doors open.

“For something like this you get a better view or else it’s just a tiny window,” said Pryor.

The Captain said the crew was selected by those who show initiative, volunteer and go the extra mile when it’s not needed.

“Two years ago we did two aircrafts and I think we just wanted to give the opportunity to a few more people to be able to do it and that’s why we went with three,” said Pryor. “We just had some guys get back from their deployment so they’re more than worthy to be able to share in this experience.”

Two members included Sgt. First Class Lynda James and Sgt. Andrew Evans.

“This is my first flyover,” said James. “Very nervous.”

“I did the Wisconsin game in 2019,” said Evans. “I was on the flyover for that one.”

Just over an hour before kick-off and it was wheels up for the three Black Hawks to get in position. Then they waited for the signal.

“Talk to tower talk to ground,” said James. “Make sure you’re on the right start point.”

“We have our guys who are actually singing to us over the radio just helping us to time it right and making sure we hit those GPS points on time, so we make it look good and we’re crossing the stadium when home of the brave is sung,” said Pryor.

“For a long time I was ushers at the games when I was growing up, so being able to see the flyover from the ground and being able to do it in the air is a complete dream and being able to do it a second time is even better,” said Evans.

The crew is recognized during the game.

“We like giving them a good show and we like being a positive part of their day,” said Pryor.

And this day won’t be forgotten since they had t-shirts made showcasing the three Black Hawks on the front and their names on the back.

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