Thunderbirds set to perform at Fort Lauderdale Air Show

Thousands of service men, women in town for Fleet Week

By Jenise Fernandez - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - One by one, the Thunderbirds filed in Monday at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. 

Although this isn’t the home base for the Thunderbirds, their arrival was a bit of a homecoming as they are returning to Fort Lauderdale after a three-year hiatus.

"This is our first beach show this year, so we are very excited to have some fun in the sun," Maj. Scott Petz said.

The pilots arrived Monday afternoon, ready to put on a great show over the weekend at the Fort Lauderdale Air Show. 

Fans will get to see F-16s fly in perfect unison while performing amazing maneuvers.              

"You'll see six aircraft out there and it’s going to be a ton of cool maneuvering," Maj. Alexander Goldfein said. "The solos, they'll be doing some super close hits."

Well-trained combat pilots are set to take part in the show, and flying F-16s isn’t for the faint of heart.             

"It's got 30,000 pounds of thrust," Petz said. "It can go straight up in the air at 30,000 feet per minute and it goes 1,500 mph and it's a nine-plus G aircraft."

Although these pilots are excited to perform for large crowds, they’ll also be visiting schools and hospitals while they're in town.

It's not just the Air Force that’s in town this week.

Thousands of Navy sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen arrived at Port Everglades for the start of Fleet Week.

These men and women will enjoy some much-needed relaxation while participating in events throughout the week.

The 26th annual fleet week will go on until May 9.                 

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