Air Force

Here’s Where the Air Force Thunderbirds Will Fly Friday Over Southern California

The U.S. Air Force Air Force’s Thunderbirds demonstration squadron is scheduled to fly over LA early Friday afternoon

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What to Know

  • The USAF Thunderbirds demonstration squadron will fly over parts of Southern California early Friday afternoon.
  • The formation of six F-16C/D Fighting Falcons will be over San Diego around noon before arriving in the LA area at about 1:10 p.m.
  • Scroll down for a detailed flight path and map.

A formation of six F16C/D Fighting Falcons will perform flyovers above Los Angeles and San Diego Friday in a tribute to hospital workers, first responders and others on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The U.S. Air Force Air Force’s Thunderbirds demonstration squadron is expected to fly over San Diego at about noon. The jets will be in the Los Angeles area at about 1:10 p.m.

A detailed flight plan released Thursday shows where and when to expect the jets.

“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 air commander and leader. “We hope to give onlookers a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline in our fight against COVID-19.”

We hope to give onlookers a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline in our fight against COVID-19.

Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbirds air commander and leader

The formation is scheduled to be in southwestern Orange County around 1:35 p.m. before heading north on a path near Santa Ana, Anaheim, Buena Park and areas east of downtown LA. Pilots will fly south of downtown LA to the coast and then south over South Bay communities.

The flight path continues south over Huntington Beach before a loop over the Riverside area around 2:10 p.m.

At 3:05 p.m., a formation of jets will be over the Oxnard area and flying northeast through Simi Valley and Santa Clarita. 

“It’s really exciting to be flying over Southern California," said Maj. Jason Markzon. "It holds a special place in my heart. What we’re trying to do is show our support and honor our healthcare heroes that have been battling the coronavirus on the frontlines."

Residents were advised to watch from home, avoiding visits to landmarks to avoid groups of people. 

The Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels have performed similar salute flyovers in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Chicago and other cities during the pandemic. 

"Operation America Strong" paired the US Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds in a coordinated flyover over New York City on Tuesday

Parts of Southern California were treated to flyovers Thursday by the behemoth C-17 Globemaster III, a KC-135 Stratotanker, two C130J Super Hercules and a B-52.

The B-52 from Edwards Air Force Base 412th Test Wing passed over hospitals and other locations late Thursday morning.

In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, two huge jets -- one used for freight transport and the other for aerial refueling -- soared over medical centers, rocking their wings in tribute. The 90-minute flyovers featured a Globemaster and Stratotanker from March Air Reserve Base.

Two large military jets performed flyovers Thursday in a tribute to frontline workers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Later Thursday, two C130J Super Hercules aircraft flown by the 115th Airlift Squadron will were to fly over in the Palmdale area and continue through parts of Los Angeles County before landing in Ventura County.

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