Listed below are the eligibility requirements and application procedures for a military flyover at the funeral of a qualified veteran for each of the military services. Military flyovers are not part of the funeral honors ceremony as required by Title 10, U.S. Code, Section 1491, but can be arranged if supporting personnel and aircraft are available.
It should be noted upfront that requests for a military flyover are simply that – requests – and that approval for such requests must go through an administrative process within each military service in accordance with DoD Directive 5410.18. Approval is contingent on many factors, including the military status of the deceased, the availability of personnel and aircraft, the location of the funeral service, the time and date of the funeral, and weather conditions.
Implementing Instruction: Air Force Instruction 11-209 “Aerial Event Policy and Procedures”
Funeral flyovers may be requested through the servicing base mortuary affairs office or by calling the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations at 800-531-5803. The approval authority is the Air Force Aerial Events office.
Funeral flyover request documents
DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or similar discharge documentation recording the individual’s honorable discharge, rank and decorations.
A letter from the next of kin or the person acting on their behalf requesting the flyover.
An Exception to Policy package, required when the member does not meet established eligibility criteria, must include a biography with the justification.
The Vice Chief of Staff of the Army is the approval authority for all flyover requests for the Army. Due to current fiscal and operational constraints, there are only rare circumstances when the Army would provide flyover support. There could be an exception to policy in special circumstances for exceptional high-impact events that meet specific and strategic communication requirements.
Exception to Policy Requests
Army Regulation 360-1 states the procedures for an exception must be approved by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army through the Office of Chief of Public Affairs, or OCPA. Request submissions will be made through the Defense Outplacement Referral System, or DORS, and/or DD Form 2535. The point of contact for flyover request is the OCPA casualty team lead, 703-697-5084.
Implementing Instruction: Marine Corps Order 5410.18 Public Affairs Community Relations Policy