Look up, San Jose!
At 10:56am Wednesday, expect a thunderous rumble to emanate from above.
Four F-15C Eagle Fighter jets from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno are set to do a flyover throughout the state as a salute to healthcare workers, first responders, service members and other essential personnel who have worked on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic.
“These flyovers are a thank you for your service and sacrifice,” said Col. Jeremiah Cruz, the 144th Fighter Wing commander. “Please look up to the sky as we salute you.”
The flyover is set to take off from the Fresno Air National Guard Base to passing over medical facilities in the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento and Bay Area before heading down to Southern California.
The Bay Area flyovers “stops” include the Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Richmond and Oakland, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Santa Clara’s Kaiser Permanente, O’Connor Hospital and Regional Medical Center in San Jose, Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, Watsonville Community Hospital and Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula.
The four F-15s—which expect to cross over San Jose at 10:56am—will soar at speeds of about 350 mph at a 1,000-feet elevation throughout their statewide trip.
“Typically we’re at 25,000 feet, so we’re going down low and slowing down quite a bit for these flights, all within safety parameters,” Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge explained.
As part of Operation Strong, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds have been carrying out flyovers over selected cities throughout the nation. However, since the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds are not able to hit every city and region in the country, the U.S. Department of Defense granted various Navy and Air Force units permission to organize their own flyovers.
For the Golden State, that’s where the the Air National Guard comes in. Residents in San Jose will no doubt get a treat as the jets fly overhead shortly before 11am.