A random onlooker cried out: “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, oh fuck, it is a plane!”
Photo by Yuri Bukhradze
UCSD students have long dealt with fighter jets roaring over campus, but recently these instances have been ramping up as a part of a new promotional campaign by the Marine Corps.
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar sits less than five miles east of UCSD, and was the home of the TOPGUN training school for naval aviators, typically hosting the largest military airshow in the United States every October. However, with interest among students in aviation on the decline and a second year of the air show being canceled, Marine Corps representatives decided flyovers were the best course of action to rectify the situation. One marine remarked, “Some students think the Gliderport has the coolest flying around, but those paragliders are silent. We want the students to really feel the power of a jet engine reverberating throughout their chests as the afterburners engage.”
Naturally, a few students expressed dismay about this turn of events. “I don’t know, I just think it’s kind of important to be able to hear what your professors are saying,” said one first-year. Other students appeared more concerned with how it would bother them during conversations with friends, or distract them from their exams — or worse — their music. “This could be a total vibe-killer,” said one third-year. “I mean, it’s just like those annoying advertisement planes over the beach, but for the military. I can hardly think of anything worse!” Certain professors seem even further distressed. Jett Roring, a well-respected physics professor, stated, “The microphones in my lecture hall are broken, and I have such a hard time projecting my voice with the mask on. My voice is all I’ve got, and if one more plane flies over during class, I’ll have to — ” Roring was drowned out by a formation of F/A-18s before he could conclude his thoughts.
Though students and faculty might be annoyed, the director of the yet-again-delayed sequel to Top Gun (itself about the fighter pilot training school at the Miramar Air Station) Joseph Kosinski expressed support for the idea. “A big part of the reason we had to delay it was because there wasn’t enough hype within the student demographic,” Kosinski asserted. “None of them were there to see the original in theaters 35 years ago. This should help build anticipation for when the sequel releases!” Kosinski also noted that the studio asked Tom Cruise to drive around the campus on his motorcycle, to stir up some excitement on the ground.
Pilots are thrilled at the opportunity to practice prolonged flight at low altitude. One pilot familiar with the campus said, “I, personally, can’t wait to take a Polaroid of Falling Star as I’m passing over it while inverted. That would be a great shot! Especially if I could get a bird in the foreground.” He went on to mention how he would be careful to avoid getting too close to the north side of Black’s Beach, referring to that as the “Danger Zone.”
While this seems like “a perfect plan,” the campus and the Air Station are collaborating on contingencies in case students don’t feel the requisite “need for speed.” Chancellor Khosla appeared eager to outdo his predecessor, proclaiming, “Chancellor Fox flew with the Blue Angels once, but only in the cockpit like a normal person. Since many of the students who pass through UCSD will never have the funds to experience this sort of flying through the air, I will walk on the wings to support their dreams.”