Sometimes, the plan falls through.
On Saturday — about 15 minutes before the Penn State-Rutgers Homecoming and Military Appreciation Game kickoff — three U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets flew over Beaver Stadium. There were supposed to be four.
Lt. Alex Fletcher, a 2006 State High grad, wasn’t able to fly due to maintenance issues with his aircraft.
Honestly, Fletcher said, it is what it is, and he still had the opportunity to see the Nittany Lions dominate the Scarlet Knights from the sidelines.
“It would have been awesome to be a part of the flyover formation, but (it was) an incredible experience to just be a part of the weekend and to be home and to be able to fly back and have your friends and family meet you and see the aircraft,” he said.
Fletcher, who’s from the Boalsburg area, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2010 and currently serves as an instructor pilot based at the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va.
Navy public relations puts out approved flyover requests and then people volunteer to fill the requests, he said.
Fletcher said he and the Penn State grad pilots — Lt. Nate Shuey and Lt. Mike Webb — thought it would be an “awesome” opportunity for them.
So while it was disappointing to not get airborne, he said, it was “a lot of fun” to be back home, out on the field and seeing old buddies.