Aeronautical Randomness
Flyover States
April 19, 2012

If you don’t listen to country music, you probably haven’t heard Flyover States by Jason Aldean.

I’ve heard “flyover states” loosely thrown around by passengers and other crew members.  In my opinion, it is a derogatory term that has been given a “free pass” by the politically correct crowd.  If they’re really worried about “offending” people, why is it permissible to tell a large part of our population that their states are worthless?

The United States is a very large, diverse country.  Sometimes, people on the coasts dismiss the value of what’s in the middle.  I think Mr. Aldean does a great job capturing that sentiment and articulating why these folks are a little off base.

Plus, he uses airplanes in the video.

Courtesy of cmt.com, here’s the video:

Here are the lyrics:

A couple of guys in first class on a flight
From New York to Los Angeles
Kinda making small talk killin’ time
Flirting with the flight attendants
Thirty thousand feet above, could be Oklahoma

Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms
Man, it all looks the same
Miles and miles of back roads and highways
Connecting little towns with funny names
Who’d want to live down there, in the middle of nowhere

They’ve never drove through Indiana
Met the man who plowed that earth
Planted that seed, busted his ass for you and me
Or caught a harvest moon in Kansas
They’d understand why God made
Those fly over states

I bet that mile long Santa Fe
Freight train engineer’s seen it all
Just like that flatbed cowboy
Stacking US Steel on a three day haul
Roads and rails under their feet
Yeah, that sounds like a first class seat

On the plains of Oklahoma
With a windshield sunset in your eyes
Like a watercolored painted sky
You’ll think heavens doors have opened
You’ll understand why God made
Those fly over states

Take a ride across the badlands
Feel that freedom on your face
Breathe in all that open space
Meet a girl from Amarillo
You’ll understand why God made
You might even wanna plant your stakes
In those fly over states

Have you ever been through Indiana
On the plains of Oklahoma
Take a ride

About author

Renewed Pilot

I've endured a roller coaster career in the U.S. Aviation Industry. Currently flying the 737 on my third try with the same legacy carrier, I have also flown for a regional, fractional and start-up carrier. My piloting experience includes the 737, A320, 727, Citation Excel, Citation Bravo, Saab 340 and many light singles and twin engine aircraft. I reside in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee.

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There are 4 comments

  • David T says:

    I agree it is derogatory. That said, I’m guessing a large part of the coastal population has never even heard of the term before, including me. I would imagine being in the airline business gives a bit of a skewed exposure to the term.

  • ALEX says:

    I’ve flown over that part of the country many times – last month I went to the Panhandle of TX (right across the border from Oklahoma to visit some distance relatives. The most down to earth, optimistic, non-judging people you’d ever meet.

    The song says it well.

  • Sydney says:

    Personally I love this song and understand if some take a position against the writers approach but at the same time the song depicts those humble people well even in comparison to the stereotypical west coast perspective. At the same time I agree with the term “fly over states” because the common traffic. As being a country which relies heavily on air transportation it no surprise that the middle of the country sees a large majority of the traffic from the ground just from their geographic position in relation to the common routes.

  • msp says:

    Coastal Guy who has been extensively through the midwest and plains. I wouldn’t say worthless…but I’d say barren and lacking the culture of the coastal areas.

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