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Air Force flyover for Tucson frontline workers hits close to home for pilots

Posted at 8:30 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 01:20:13-04

Davis-Monthan and the Arizona Air National Guard will say thank you to frontline workers of this pandemic, with a Tucson area flyover Thursday afternoon.

"They don't get that thanks that often," said commander of the A-10 Demo Team Cody Wilton. "So to go out there and do something for them to show our support, and how much we appreciate what they do, is awesome."

The salute has special meaning for three of the four pilots taking part.

"The flight lead is going to be one of my safety observers," said Wilton. "His wife is currently a nurse here in Tucson. My wife just moved, but she was a nurse and a nurse anesthetist here in Tucson for four years. One of the Viper pilots wife is also in health care."

Viper is the nickname of the F-16. A pair of Vipers will fly with two A-10 Warthogs forming a diamond pattern.

The flyover begins Thursday at 2 p.m. in Green Valley. Davis-Monthan created an interactive map.

The formation heads north to Marana and then around the Catalina Mountains.

"The best way to work the formation was to go around the mountain and then comeback in, to go across the center of Tucson," explained Wilton. "Definitely a little challenging."

This flyover has been in the planning stages for weeks.

Davis-Monthan had to get permission from the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration, before finalizing the flight plan for the mission.