HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – Joint Base Langley-Eustis U.S. Air Force announced on Friday that the demonstration teams are planning a formation flyover to honor and pay respects to frontline workers and those staying home to help “flatten the curve.”
The demonstration will begin on Tuesday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. and include the Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team and Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation which will fly throughout the Virginia Peninsula.
Major Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson, F-22 Raptor Demo Team commander, will lead the formation along with two World War II P-51 Mustangs piloted by Jim Beasley Jr. and Andrew McKenna from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation.
“I’m honored to represent JBLE, the 1st Fighter Wing, and the Virginia Air National Guard with this flyover saluting those that are keeping our communities safe during this difficult time,” said Gunderson. “We hope they will accept this historic flyover as a small token of gratitude for all they’re doing to fight our common enemy. We can’t thank them enough for their sacrifice and service.”
The flyover map below shows a scheduled take-off from JBLE, continuing north to Richmond before returning south through Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, and finishing in Virginia Beach.
Flight time and duration are subject to change based on the weather and maintenance.
“Virginia residents should watch from the safety of their home-quarantine and should refrain from traveling to see the flyover. Citizens should also maintain social distancing and follow Governor Northam’s order to avoid large gatherings,” according to base officials.
“Inspired by the Air Force Salutes campaign, the flyover is intended to provide a salute to all the healthcare professionals frontline responders, and essential personnel working to keep everyone safe and healthy during these unique times. It also provides essential currencies and training to the pilots and demonstrates the readiness of the Air Force.”
Follow the flight on social media by using #VAFlyBy and #AirForceSalutes in posts.
A little bit of history on the fighter jets:
The F-22A Raptor is a fifth-generation fighter with stealth technology, radical maneuvering capabilities, the ability to fly at supersonic speed without afterburners, and unprecedented pilot situational awareness — making it the most dominant and advanced air superiority fighter in the world.
The legendary P-51 Mustang dominated the skies over Western Europe after it was introduced in World War II. The single-seat aircraft had a maximum speed of 437 miles per hour and could escort heavy bombers deep into the heart of Germany. The P-51 and the pilots that flew them were crucial to turning the tide of war in the Allies’ favor.
- Live Blog: Hundreds expected to participate in demonstration at Mt. Trashmore
- Blog: One More Hot & Humid Day, Latest on Cristobal
- Virginia COVID-19 June 6 update: 842 confirmed cases with 7 deaths
- ‘More white people locking arms with black people today … than I’ve ever seen’: Newport News pastor sees hope
- 1 displaced after fire on Queen Street in Portsmouth