You’ll recall the uproar over what was undoubtedly a great experience for the spectators, if a tad dangerous, when the 4-ship of Air Force T-38s did a (routine) fly-by of a football game (Iowa-Ohio State) last fall in which the jets flew less than 200 feet above the ground and less than 20 feet above part of the stadium at one point (not-so-routine).

After an investigation into the incident, the media reports sound as if the Air Force may (can’t confirm it just by reading the news, but that’s what it looks like to me) have granted the flight lead a RILO (resignation in lieu of court-martial). Major Christopher Kopacek accepted non-judicial punishment, agreed not to fight an FEB (flight evaluation board–basically a determination whether he should ever get to fly again in the military), and will separate from the military. In addition to the allegations regarding the fly-over itself, Kopacek faced false official statement specifications.

The other pilots received lesser administrative paperwork. It’s not clear whether they will fly again. As for Kopacek, it looks like the November fly-by will also serve as his fini flight, traditionally the last flight a pilot makes before moving to a new duty station, separating, or retiring.

UPDATE:  Further details appear to confirm that this was a RILO, although, unlike most RILOs, it sounds like Kopacek will be allowed to separate/retire on his own.  Usually, you see an involuntary discharge with an Under Other Than Honorable Conditions characterization.

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