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Blue Angels, Thunderbirds plan flyovers to salute essential workers

The U.S. Blue Angels take rehearse in for

The U.S. Blue Angels take rehearse in for the 2018 Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach. Credit: Barry Sloan

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will soar over the region together Tuesday in a salute to medical responders and other essential workers on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A formation of six F-16C/D Fighting Falcons and six F-18C/D Hornet jet aircrafts will conduct these flyovers as a collaborative tribute from the Air Force and Navy to health care workers, first responders, military and other essential personnel.

Several similar events will be planned in the coming weeks.

“We are truly excited to take to the skies with our Navy counterparts for a nation-wide tribute to the men and women keeping our communities safe,” U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbird 1 and mission commander for the flyover said in a statement. “We hope to give Americans a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline of our fight with COVID-19.”

The announcement of the regional ceremonial acknowledgment was made Saturday, a little more than a week after it was announced that the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh planned for Memorial Day weekend, which was to feature a performance by the Blue Angels, would be canceled due to coronavirus. The Blue Angels are typically the show’s biggest draw.

Tuesday's flyovers in Newark, New York City and surrounding areas will begin at noon and last approximately 35 minutes. Flyovers will then continue in Trenton and then Philadelphia.

It is not clear if the planes will fly over parts of Long Island. The flight paths and exact times are expected to be announced Monday.

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Residents under the flight path of Tuesday’s event can expect to hear a few seconds of jet noise and see the 12 planes flying in precision formation, according to a news release.

Viewers are encouraging to post photos and videos of the flyover to social media using the hashtag #AmericaStrong.

The Navy and Air Force are urging spectators to maintain social distancing guideline while watching and to stay quarantined in their homes.

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