LOS ANGELES - The famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be honoring frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with flights over Southern California on May 15.
“It is an honor for our team to salute the countless Californians who have committed to keeping the communities safe during this difficult time in our nation,” said Lt Col John Caldwell, Thunderbirds commander and leader. “We hope to give onlookers a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline our fight against COVID-19.”
Six F-16C/D Fighting Falcons will conduct these flyovers as salute to healthcare workers, first responders, military, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flyovers in Los Angeles will start at 1:10 p.m. and last approximately 30 minutes.
Flyovers in San Diego will start at noon and last approximately 15 minutes.
Residents in those areas will be able to see the flyover from their homes but officials advise everyone to maintain social distancing guidelines during the event and should not travel to landmarks, hospitals and gatherings in large groups to view the flyover.
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels honored frontline COVID-19 first responders and essential workers with formation flights over Detroit, Chicago, and Indianapolis on May 12, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by LTjg Chelsea Dietlin)
Detailed flight route information is expected to be released on Thursday. The Thunderbirds team encourages anyone participating to tag the flyover on social media with the hashtag #AmericaStrong and #Thunderbirds.
Additionally, the 144th Fighter Wing based out of Fresno, California will be conducting a flyover in Northern and Central California with flights in Sacramento at approximately 10:30 a.m., the Bay Area starting at about 10:43 a.m., and San Luis Obispo County beginning at about 11:23 a.m. on May 13. Four F-15C Eagle fighter jets will be taking off from the Fresno base at 10 a.m.
Additional flights by the 144th Fighter Wing include:
-- Reedley/Selma: 10:05 a.m.
-- Madera: 10:11 a.m.
-- Merced: 10:16 a.m.
-- San Jose: 10:56 a.m.
-- Paso Robles 11:23 a.m.
-- Templeton 11:23 a.m.
-- San Luis Obispo: 11:25 a.m.
-- Santa Maria: 11:29 a.m.
-- Santa Barbara: 11:36 a.m.
-- Bakersfield: 11:48 a.m.
-- Visalia: 11:58 a.m.
-- Fresno/Clovis area: 12:03 p.m.
DETROIT (May 12, 2020) The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels honored frontline COVID-19 first responders and essential workers with formation flights over Detroit, Chicago, and Indianapolis on May 12, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by
The 144th Fighter Wing team encourages viewers to tag them on social media in photos and videos of the formation with the hashtags #144FW, #AmericaStrong, and #CalGuard.
The 144th Fighter Wing was initially planning to fly over Southern California but have since updated their routes to allow the Thunderbirds to take over that leg of the plan.