Last Friday Boeing saluted the players and spectators at its annual company-sponsored Boeing Classic golf tournament in Seattle with the usual opening ceremony flyover. The 777 has been the equipment of choice in former years and this time it was a Korean Airlines 777-300ER accompanied by two of the Boeing Flight Test-operated T-33 chase aircraft.
Yet, despite issuing a press release, filing a flight plan with the FAA, notifying the Transportation Security Administration, FBI, Homeland Security and even local police and fire departments, there was surprise when some local residents apparently panicked at the sight fearing it was some kind of 9/11 repeat. Strangely, even thoguh an Emirates 777 performed the honors last year, this was the first time in four years that the flyover apparently raised any flags.
777 and T-33 on approach to Boeing Field (all photos Joe Walker)
KAL 777-300ER returns to BFI
Lockeed T-33 chase duo take off from BFI
Boeing had gone out of its way to forewarn as many organizations and members of the public as it could do, yet local media reports suggest the sight of a low-flying jetliner (particularly under apparent escort) still causes the jitters. Last April’s incident with the photo shoot for the Presidential 747 over New York was perhaps more predictable, given its location, but what a shame for aviation and society that the sight of a 777 over a golf course in Washington State still sends people rushing to call 911.