DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Air National Guard is planning an F-16 flyover for a number of the state’s communities on Wednesday.
The flyover is in support of “the men and women who have been fighting on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19,” the Colorado National Guard said.
“I’m thankful to have their support every day and it’s great to show them mine,” Maj. Eric “Havoc” Hakos, F-16 pilot with Colorado Air National Guard told FOX31.
Four of the jets will fly in “fingertip” formation across a large part of the state. They will be going about 400 mph while flying 1,000 feet above the ground.
Only the lead pilot can see people below watching the flyover. The pilots advise onlookers to pay close attention to the sky so you don’t miss it.
“Just focus on the horizon and you’ll see the black dot,” pilot Lt. Col. Robert “Voodoo” Bielanski said.
The event is part of Operation American Resolve, a nationwide effort to boost morale amid the pandemic.
“I hope that when people look up and see the flyover, they know that the Colorado National Guard and the United States military still has their back,” Hakos said.
The flyover is particularly meaningful for Hakos.
“My wife Katie is a physical therapist and my sister-in-law Abbie is a nurse and my brother-in-law Dustin is a doctor, so I have some connections to health care workers that I’ll be thinking about as I execute this flyover tomorrow,” he said.
The four pilots will not only be flying honoring frontline COVID-19 workers, but also nearly 600 Colorado National Guard airmen and soldiers who have been deployed to help fight the virus.
“We are really excited to show our appreciation for those men and women who are risking their lives every day in the front lines of the War on COVID-19,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Micah Fesler, commander, 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard. “So many of our community members, Coloradans, and fellow Americans have experienced overwhelming hardship as a result of this invisible enemy and we hope that the sound of freedom will inspire a sense of community and optimism.”
The flyover will begin at approximately 4:32 p.m. Wednesday at Sterling Correctional Facility. The prison in northeast Colorado has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases of any facility in the state.
After leaving Sterling, jets will head to the following locations:
- Greeley: 4:35-4:38 p.m.
- Fort Collins/Loveland: 4:38-4:42 p.m.
- Mountain communities: Estes Park, Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, Frisco, Winter Park – 4:42-5:10 p.m.
- Longmont/Boulder: 5:10-5:18 p.m.
- Metro Denver: 5:18-5:33 p.m.
- Colorado Springs: 5:33-5:44 p.m.
- Pueblo: 5:44-5:47 p.m.
The National Guard says flyover time windows may vary by 15 minutes.
A map of the jets’ planned journey is below: