The Hawaii Air National Guard and 15th Wing Active Duty Airmen from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will perform a flyover Thursday throughout the Hawaiian Islands beginning at approximately 11:20 a.m.
The flyovers will aim to fly above most of Hawaii’s large hospitals and major metropolitan areas in a salute to all frontline workers battling COVID-19, as well as those staying at home to “flatten the curve of transmission” of the virus, according to a news release.
On the Big Island, the flyovers will take place at approximately 12:20 p.m. over North Hawaii Community Hospital, 12:31 p.m. over Hilo Medical Center, and 1:20 p.m. over Kona Community Hospital.
Flight times are approximate and subject to change due to weather and maintenance.
The flyover will feature all locally based U.S. Air Force planes, including a C-17 Globemaster III, a KC-135 Stratotanker and a flight of F-22 Raptors, which will complete routine training sorties as they visit each neighboring island.
These aircraft were already scheduled for these training flights, so the flyover is at no additional cost to the taxpayer, according to the release.
The flight path was coordinated with state officials as well as members of the Federal Aviation Administration. The altitude of the flyover will vary between 2,500 and 3,000 feet above ground level.
“This event will recognize the hard work that everyone in Hawaii has already accomplished to keep Hawaii’s COVID cases among the lowest in the United States, while also acknowledging the need for continued vigilance, and our obligation to those in our community who will require continued assistance,” said Brig. Gen. Dann S. Carlson, 154th Wing Commander. “These flyovers are meant to provide hope and reaffirm confidence in our state and nation while emphasizing the Air Force’s enduring commitment and support to the people of the state of Hawaii.”
Onlooking residents should watch from the safety of their homes while adhering to social distancing guidelines and should refrain from traveling to see the flyover. The frontline workers, at the hospitals listed below, are also encouraged to witness the flyover outside their facilities, but all citizens should also follow Gov. David Ige’s order to maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings.
Inspired by the Air Force’s Operation American Resolve Salutes campaign, the flyover is intended to provide a salute to all the health care professionals, frontline responders, and essential personnel working to keep everyone safe and healthy during these unique times.
Once the planes fly over Kahuku on the island of Oahu, the routes will diverge with a C-17 proceeding to Kauai and a KC-135 diverging east towards Molokai, Lanai, Hawaii Island and Maui. The F-22s will peel off to the north to continue with regularly scheduled training.
The military welcomes and encourage viewers to tag us on social media in photos and videos of the formation with the hashtags: #TeamHickamSalutes, #AirForceSalutesHI, #FlyoverHawaii, #InThisTogether, #respondHINGwithAloha