FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Hopefully you’re ready for another flyover, South Florida.
An “American Strong” salute flight featuring U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft, plus a U.S. Coast Guard MH65 helicopter and USCG C-144 aircraft, will soar over several South Florida hospitals on Saturday to honor healthcare workers, first responders, military, and other essential personnel on Memorial Day weekend.
The four Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 482nd Fighter Wing Air Force Reserve Command in Homestead will be flying over 34 hospitals across South Florida — from the Keys up to Palm Beach County. The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Miami helicopter and aircraft will have a different flight path, going over 16 hospitals. (More details below.)
This comes just a couple of weeks after the Blue Angels wowed the region with a similar flyover to salute healthcare workers.
The flyover is part of America Strong, an initiative to “demonstrate the Department of the Air Force’s continued readiness during the national COVID-19 response while saluting the American heroes at the forefront in our fight against COVID-19,” organizers say. It is planned with regular training missions and is at no additional cost to taxpayers.
“This flyover is a way for the Air Force, and more locally, the men and women of the 482nd Fighter Wing, to show appreciation to the thousands of doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers serving South Florida during this pandemic,” said Brig. Gen. David Piffarerrio, 482nd Fighter Wing commander. “It is a privilege to be able to fly over these medical facilities in a display of national unity and support for those keeping our communities safe.”
This weekend was supposed to be the Air and Sea Show on South Beach, which was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Air & Sea Show is planned to resume next year during Memorial Day weekend (May 29-30, 2021).
Residents are encouraged to observe Saturday’s flyovers from the safety of their home-quarantine and should refrain from traveling to see the flyover, organizers say. People should also maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings.
You can also expect jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead.
The four Air Force aircraft are scheduled to take off from the Homestead base at 11:20 a.m. on route to the Florida Keys Intensive Outpatient Center in Key West. After reaching the center at approximately 11:35 a.m., the planes will head north to the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center in West Palm Beach, flying over more than 30 hospitals and medical centers along the flight path. The planes will then head back south for a pass over Homestead Hospital around 12:40 p.m.
See below for the timing of the Air Force Fighting Falcons at each hospital:
The USCG MH65 helicopter and USCG C-144 aircraft will have a different flight path and travel over 16 South Florida hospitals: