A California city promoting a US Air Force flyover during the Super Bowl missed the mark by mistakenly sharing a photo of a Russian fighter jet.
Santa Monica city officials tweeted a photo sunday afternoon ahead of Super Bowl LVI alerting residents to the annual pre-game ritual high above the field, but erroneously posted a photo of a Russian MiG twin-engine fighter jet.
“Just before 3:30 pm, the @usairforce will flyover #SantaMonica and #Malibu in preparation for the National Anthem performance for #Superbowl LVI at SoFi Stadium,” city officials tweeted.
The tweet, sent from Santa Monica’s official Twitter account, prompted supersonic backlash from eagle-eyed aviation experts who noted the aircraft was misidentified.
“Ummmm,” one reply read. “That’s a Russian-built MiG29.”
“This seems inappropriate,” another person said.
“Yes, with everything going on in Ukraine, a fly-over by Russian fighter jets doesn’t seem right,” another user replied.
One Twitter critic took a swipe at Santa Monica by posting a photo of Snoopy in a single-seat fighter plane, complete with goggles on his head and a coy smile.
“Nice Mig29,” another reply read. “Have we purchased these from the Russians to do a proper flyover?”
Another person playfully said the tweet showed Russian forces “finally invading” the Super Bowl, while others had more grounded take.
“Given the current geopolitical climate this error is both hilarious and disturbing,” one reply read. “Still, mig 29 is a sexy machine.”
The aircraft that took part in Sunday’s Historic Air Force Flyover were a P-51 Mustang, an A-10 Thunderbolt, an F-16 Fighting Falcon, an F-22 Raptor and an F-35 Lightning.
The flyover marked its establishment as a separate branch of the armed forces some 75 years ago,
“This year’s #SuperBowl is going to be an awesome game, no matter who wins,” Air Force Chief of Staff General CQ Brown Jr. tweeted† “I won’t say who I’m rooting for, but I was pretty pumped for that first-of-its-kind flyover to kick off the game.”
Santa Monica’s erroneous tweet came as fears that Russia is prepping to invade Ukraine reach a feverish pitch, with some warning that military action could be just days away.
UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said Monday that a Russian assault could “effectively now happen with no notice.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, meanwhile, plans to visit Moscow Monday to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to not invade Ukraine. Russia has publicly denied plans for an attack, but has read more than 130,000 troops near the country’s borders and thousands others at sea.
With Post wires