Meet the all-female team of U.S. Navy aviators making Super Bowl flyover history

Two naval aviators walk away from their EA-18G Growler jet
Lt. Lyndsey Evans, left, and Lt. Margaret Dente walk away from their EA-18G Growler jet after arriving at Luke Air Force Base outside Phoenix on Tuesday in preparation for their flyover of State Farm Stadium before Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII. The flyover will celebrate 50 years of women flying in the Navy.
(Aron Montano/U.S. Navy)

For the first time in Super Bowl history, an all-female team of U.S. Navy aviators will conduct the pregame flyover, commemorating 50 years of women pilots in the military branch.

The historic team will fly the four-aircraft formation over State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., at the conclusion of the national anthem, according to the Navy.

Seven female aviators will operate the fighter aircraft, with a majority female crew working on and maintaining the planes.


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Feb. 11, 2023

“It’s not a feeling I can even put into words,” Lt. Katie Martinez, a flight officer assigned to one of the squadrons working on an aircraft in the flyover, said in a statement. “It doesn’t get bigger than the Super Bowl, and I am humbled and honored to be able to participate with my friends and fellow naval aviators as part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The formation will include two F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets, one F-35C Lightning II stealth combat aircraft and one EA-18G Growler electronic attack jet, which will depart from nearby Luke Air Force Base, officials said.

Palmdale native and USC graduate Lt. Lyndsay Evans will be one of those in the historic flyover as electronic warfare officer in the two-person Growler.

Evans joined the Navy eight years ago.

“I joined the Navy to serve my country,” the Southern California native said. “Serving in the Navy means being part of something bigger than yourself.”

Eight women became the first female candidates to enter U.S. Navy flight school in 1973, and a year later six graduated to earn their wings. They become known as “The First Six.”

Here are the women who will make air history Sunday.

Flying the two F/A-18F Super Hornets:

  • Lt. Arielle Ash, pilot, of Abilene, Texas
  • Lt. Saree Moreno, weapon systems officer, of Tampa, Fla.
  • Lt. Naomi Ngalle, weapon systems officer, of Springfield, Va.
  • Lt. Caitie Perkowski, pilot, of Albuquerque

Flying the EA 18G Growler:

  • Lt. Margaret Dente, pilot, of North Salem, N.Y.
  • Lt. Lyndsay Evans, electronic warfare officer, of Palmdale

Flying the F-35C Lightning II:

  • Lt. Suzelle Thomas, pilot, of Birmingham, Ala.