Advertisement

Thunderbirds will fly over Southern California honoring coronavirus workers

The Thunderbirds take a practice flight before the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2018.
The Thunderbirds take a practice flight before the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2018. On Friday, the jets will fly over Southern California honoring those working during the pandemic.
(Mark Boster / For The Times)

California workers battling on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus will be honored from the sky during two military salutes this week.

Taking off from Fresno on Wednesday, four California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter jets will soar over hospitals and medical centers, fire stations and government buildings. The flight is part of a nationwide show of support for healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers aiding the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

×

Four California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter jets soar over hospitals and medical centers, fire stations and government buildings in Fresno.

The jets, assigned to the 144th Fighter Wing, will launch about 10 a.m. and make a loop, first heading toward Sacramento before banking west over the San Francisco Bay, soaring in the direction of Santa Barbara then over to Bakersfield before heading back to the Fresno area. The flight will last about two hours.

The original flight plan included the Los Angeles area but changed course to accommodate for the Southern California flyover of the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds on Friday.

Advertisement

The free show, which continues through Sunday, features the Air Force Thunderbirds, the United Kingdom’s Red Arrows, Canada’s Snowbirds and civilian performers and dueling jetpack riders.

Six F-16C/D Fighting Falcons will fly over San Diego and Los Angeles in honor of healthcare workers, first responders, members of the military and others working during the pandemic.

“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 front line in our fight against COVID-19.”

Flyovers in San Diego will start about noon Friday and last 15 minutes. Los Angeles’ air show will begin at 1:10 p.m. and last about 30 minutes. A detailed flight route is expected Thursday.

Advertisement

The Thunderbirds, known for their aerial shows, launched in 1953.


Advertisement