In the cockpit for an Opening Day flyover

We all love them. There’s just something about a perfectly timed flyover, right at the end of the “Star Spangled Banner,” that makes the hair stand up on your arms.

As easy and effortless as these talented flight teams make them seem, there’s a lot of intricate timing that goes into a well-executed flyover. In planning pregame festivities for the grand “re-opening” of the DBAP, the Bulls’ game operations staff worked with the Bandit Flight Team, a crew of vintage fighter planes based here in the Triangle. Once we established a flight path over the stadium in several offseason meetings, we worked with the National Anthem performer to nail down an exact length of their rendition. The Duke Pitchforks, an a cappella group at Duke University, were amazing….and incredibly punctual. After repeated rehearsals, the Pitchforks gave us a precise time of 88 seconds. From there, we scripted our pregame ceremonies to the second. On the day of the game, the Bandits planted a crew member atop the Diamond View II building to stay in constant communication with the pilots. A member of the Bulls game ops staff was there as well, indicating the pace of pregame and adjustments that needed to be made.

All that coordination resulted in an amazing flyover during a very special Opening Day. Watch now as the Bandit Flight Team takes you inside their planes for a rare look at a flyover from the air.


Opening night at the DBAP was a HIT. With the singing of the National Anthem and the fly over of airplanes and my good friend and cuz Chris. A beautiful night topped of with a win made it a night too remember. See you at the DBAP.

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