On December 17th, 2007, a C-17 from McChord AFB, WA, flew from its home station to McGuire AFB, NJ on a blend of JP8 and synthetic fuel. Along the way, it flew low over New York City—with a chase plane/escort—but unlike a more recent overflight, everyone forgot to freak out.
I’ll be blunt, I don’t think the city authorities bothered to notify anyone that the Globemaster would buzz New York City following its cross-country trip to McGuire. I blame George W. Bush for the widespread panic and trauma—if anyone besides aviation geeks and Air Force personnel noticed, that is.
The lesson I draw from this is that New York is only afraid of military 747s (marked with the world’s most recognisable paint scheme) trailed by fighter escorts. C-17s trailed by escorts appear to be A-OK though. Lack of prior public notification didn’t seem to matter at all in this case.