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Air Force, Arizona Air Guard jets to perform flyover above Phoenix to honor responders

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Over a dozen U.S. Air Force and Arizona Air National Guard aircraft on Friday will conduct a flyover above metro Phoenix to honor health care workers and others responding to public needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Luke Air Force Base officials say 15 jets will begin the flyover at approximately 3:10 p.m., and that it will last 50 minutes.

Officials say the flight path will take the jets over Buckeye, Luke, Litchfield Park, Surprise, Waddell, Goodyear, Tolleson, Phoenix and Tempe before they head fly over Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Deer Valley, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City West, and El Mirage.

Participating aircraft will include seven F-35A fighters and seven F-16 fighters from wings based at Luke and a KC-135 tanker from the Air Guard’s 161st Air Refueling Wing at Sky Harbor International Airport.

An F-35A Lightning II from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., takes off from Dover AFB, Del., Feb. 19, 2020. (Senior Airman Christopher Quail/Air Force)
An F-35A Lightning II from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., takes off from Dover AFB, Del., Feb. 19, 2020. (Senior Airman Christopher Quail/Air Force)

According to an announcement by Luke officials, “residents along the flight path can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead.”

Air Force Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury said the participating military personnel are honored to extend heartfelt gratitude to health care workers and others fighting the outbreak. He added that participants want those watching the flyover to “enjoy the display of American airpower, resolve and pride while keeping frontline responders in their hearts.”

Canterbury is commander of the 56th Fighter Wing based at Luke.

Luke’s announcement advised residents to view the flyover from their homes and to maintain social distancing during the event. “They should also refrain from traveling to landmarks, hospitals and gathering in large groups to view the flyover,” the statement said.

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