How much does it cost to fly five F-18s over a domed Super Bowl stadium?
Almost $450,000 according to WFAA Dallas/Fort Worth.
The estimate comes from research done on operational costs of the aircraft, including what it costs to transport the planes from Virginia Beach, VA to North Texas. The cost of fuel alone for the flyover totalled $109,000.
According to Department of Defense tables, the entire cost will be more than $450,000, based on the operational cost of the F-18 aircraft and the number of hours the pilots will fly.
But there are benefits to this sort of exercise beyond creating a Super Bowl spectacle. In addition to pleasing viewers at home (the Dallas stadium itself is domed so no one inside was able to see it), the flyover actually has a training purpose
However, CNBC reports that Mike Maus, a public affairs officer with the Navy, said that the Navy only records the fuel cost for such trips, which was $109,000. Maus said the flyovers actually provide pilots with essential training needed for missions including instrumentation and communication practice.
"These missions are included in the annual operating budget of all branches of the military and they are used as training," Maus told CNBC. "There was no additional money provided to us, Congress did not cut us a special check to do this flyover. This is considered a training mission whether they were to fly over the Super Bowl or not."
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