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Blue Angels, Thunderbirds fly over Atlanta in salute to first responders

The flyovers took place Saturday afternoon.

ATLANTA — UPDATE: It was a spectacular show in the sky over Atlanta today as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds flew over the metro area ! If you missed it (or if you just want to see it again), click here to watch. 

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RELATED: Blue Angels, Thunderbirds flyover honors coronavirus first reponders


If you live near downtown Atlanta, or any hospitals in the area, you'll want to look up in the sky on Saturday afternoon. 

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and the U.S. Air Force The Thunderbirds, will honor front-line COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over the city.

“America Strong is a way for both teams to show appreciation to the thousands of doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers out there serving on the front line day-in and day-out,” said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, U.S. Navy Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader for the flyover. “This is an extraordinary and unprecedented time but we will get through this. We are all in this together.”

Flyovers in Atlanta started at about 1:35 p.m. and lasted about 25 minutes.

Credit: Blue Angels
Flight path for the Blue Angels flyover on Saturday, May 2.

(Click here for a large version of the image above.)

The flight path for the jets took them over these hospitals at the following times:

  • WellStar Kennestone Hospital 1:35
  • Piedmont Hospital 1:37
  • Atlanta VA Hospital 1:38
  • Northside Hospital/Children’s at Scottish Rite 1:39
  • Grady Memorial Hospital/Children’s at Hughes Spalding 1:44
  • Atlanta Medical Center 1:44
  • Emory University Hospital/Children’s at Egleston 1:44
  • Piedmont Fayette Hospital 1:49
  • Piedmont Newnan Hospital 1:56

A formation of 6 F-16C/D Fighting Falcon and 6 F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft will conduct these flyovers, they said, as a "collaborative salute" to essential personnel "while standing in solidarity with all Americans" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are honored to fly over these cities in a display of national unity and support for the men and women keeping our communities safe.” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbird commander and lead pilot. “These flyovers are a gesture of goodwill on behalf of the entire Department of Defense to the heroes of the COIVD-19 pandemic.”

This mission, they said, is the second of several planned over the coming weeks. 

Also on Saturday, they will hold flyovers in Baltimore (11:30 a.m.) and Washington D.C. (11:45 p.m.). They flew over New York City on Tuesday. 

They said that residents in these areas will be able to see the flyover from the safety of their home-quarantine and should maintain all social distancing guidelines during this event. They urge you to avoid traveling to landmarks and hospitals and gathering in large groups to view the flyover.

The 11Alive StormTrackers team says the weather will be perfect. Expect to see clear skies with warm temperatures when the flyover takes place. 

Credit: WXIA

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.


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