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Air Force Thunderbirds honor health workers with hospital flyovers

Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla on May 15 to honor medical workers and other COVID-19 first responders.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s air demonstration squadron, honored San Diego County health workers and other COVID-19 first responders with formation flights over several hospitals May 15.

Six F-16 Fighting Falcons performed the flyovers starting at noon on a south-to-north route at locations including the VA Medical Center and Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla.

“My mother is 98 years old and getting a procedure done here, and my father was a naval aviator,” Jann Davidson said outside Scripps Green. “This is a Navy and Marine Corps family and it made our hearts stop when we saw the planes. It was a joy to see. I think it’s wonderful for the medical workers to be honored this way and we feel lucky to have been here for this day.”

Staff members at Scripps Green Hospital watch and photograph a flyover by Air Force Thunderbirds on May 15.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

After leaving San Diego County, the Thunderbirds continued to Orange and Los Angeles counties.

It was the second recent flyover of hospitals in La Jolla and across the San Diego area. A group of private pilots performed their own April 24.

Pilots in private planes flew in formation over hospitals in La Jolla and across the San Diego area on April 24 to salute health care professionals working the front lines of the battle against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Thunderbirds, based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, have been honoring front-line health care workers across the United States with flyovers during the past few weeks. ◆