If you haven’t been there yet, you may be thinking about going to see the F1 Grand Prix this year. And let’s face it, with the way the economy is, tickets may be a little more affordable this year. But no matter what your reasons are for going to see the race, you may be wondering about one thing: Is there a flypast at Atlatnta Motor Speedway?
To be perfectly honest, we didn’t know what a flypast was either until we looked it up. Turns out it’s when a lot of planes or helicopters fly over a racetrack in formation. We knew it was something along those lines, but we had no idea just how much of a spectacle it is. Let’s take a look.
A Brief History Of The Flypast
The flypast actually began during World War II when German fighter pilots began doing the same thing to show off their skills. It continued to be used as part of military parades until the 1950s when it became a regular part of airshow performances. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 1960s that it stopped being used for military purposes and started being incorporated into airshows. Even then, it wasn’t always called a flypast. In some cases, it was simply referred to as a “show.”
What Is It?
The flypast is a common sight at an F1 Grand Prix. Usually, it’s done by military aircraft, but it can also be performed by civilian planes or helicopters. The idea is to impress the crowd with your flying skills, and it usually ends with a big “bang” — either a sonic boom from the jet engines or a show of fireworks. Pretty cool, right?
But it might not be exactly what you’re thinking. Although it seems like a normal part of the grand prix experience, the flypast at an F1 Grand Prix isn’t actually representative of what it’s like to watch the race. That’s because it’s often done closer to the end of the race when the drivers have less energy left and are trying to pull off an amazing drive to win the race. As a result, the flypast ends up being more of a “spectacular segue” between the end of one race and the beginning of the next.
Why Do They Do It?
There are a few different theories on why the flypast is done at an F1 Grand Prix. One is that it’s to celebrate the end of a hard race. Another theory is that it’s to show the crowd which drivers are worthy of their support. Still, another theory suggests that it’s to show off the planes’ and helicopters’ performance. That last one seems a little far-fetched, but it’s also the one that makes the most sense. After all, what could be the point of doing all that flying if you weren’t going to show off the performance?
How Often Do They Do It?
Each year, the flypast is incorporated into the F1 Grand Prix somewhere between one and three times, depending on the schedule and how much energy the pilots have left. Sometimes, it’s even done during the actual grand prix. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that combat aircraft were used during an F1 Grand Prix. In those cases, the goal is to do it as close to the end of the race as possible so that it has the greatest impact on the spectators. In most cases, though, it’s done well after the grand prix as a way of celebrating the race and the teams that participated in it. That way, everyone can celebrate the end of a long season together.
Who Schedules The Flypast?
The organizers of the F1 Grand Prix don’t just decide to do the flypast. Teams and governments around the world work together to coordinate the events leading up to the race, including the planning of the flypast. In fact, before there was an F1 Grand Prix, there was just the annual NATO Cold War-era helicopter demonstration. For years, the only thing that changed was the size of the helicopter fleet that showed up. Little by little, over the years, the demonstration was turned into a real race, and eventually, it became the F1 Grand Prix we know today. The organizers of the race work with the relevant military authorities to make sure that the flypast is done in a way that doesn’t interfere with the military’s ability to fly.
Is It Legal?
Although there aren’t any laws that expressly prohibit the flypast at races, there are a number of air regulations that the pilots have to follow. For example, they can’t fly over a densely populated area or near an airport. And although it might not seem like it at first glance, they also have to avoid flying directly over the track while it’s still wet. Wet tracks are also difficult to land on, so that’s something to keep in mind.
As long as the organizers of the race work with the relevant authorities to ensure that these regulations are followed, there shouldn’t be any problems. And even if there are temporary waivers, the organizers hopefully will have planned for this eventuality and have contingency plans in case something goes wrong. For example, if a helicopter gets damaged during the flypast and has to be replaced, there will be extra costs and charges to cover those. Hopefully, that won’t happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What Would Happen If They Didn’t Do It?
We couldn’t think of a worse thing that could happen if the flypast stopped. Imagine the frustration of the people who have spent the entire day waiting for the excitement of the helicopters to begin. Then, when it finally starts, there’s just a couple of minutes worth of fireworks and a few planes flying over the head of the track. A few more minutes of waiting and then…nothing. The crowd would be furious, and with good reason. The organizers of the race would lose a lot of money, and no one would want to watch or participate in such an event. Luckily, the organizers realize the importance of keeping at least some of the excitement throughout the day, and so they incorporate the flypast into the event somewhere between one and three times each year. But even then, it’s not always possible to do the flypast, so they have to make sure that they don’t do it every year.