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Honor Flight
Daron Cristy, Contributing Writer & Photographer

On the morning of April 24, 2020, many local hospitals in the San Diego area were treated to flybys. This enabled the local aviation community to honor the health care professionals who have been on the frontlines fighting the battle against COVID-19.

The idea was originally brought about by Doreen Freedman, who is a nurse at Scripps Green and a private pilot. Doreen found inspiration from the Kansas City flyover that was performed earlier in the month by The Beetnutz and KC Flight Formation Team.

Phil Kendro took on the monumental task of coordinating the pilots, air traffic control (ATC), TRACON and aviation leadership. Phil is a retired U.S. Marine who has experience with numerous west coast aviation events. Phil is also a pilot with 30 years' experience and is married to Jill, an interventional radiology nurse with Sharp Memorial.

Due to some last-minute changes, I was left as a solo flight. After a quick discussion with Chris, my copilot we decided to complete part of the course by ourselves. Chris is an aviation event manager and promoter in the Southern California area.

Flying east from Montgomery Field, we passed Sharp Grossmont Hospital and then turned north. Circling Palomar we turned west where we flew over Sharp Encinitas, continuing south to pass both Scripps Green and the Salk Institute in the La Jolla area. Heading down the deserted coast, we flew around Point Loma continuing around to fly by Sharp Coronado - heading back over the eerily quiet San Diego International Airport to Montgomery Field, and then over Sharp Memorial.

The weather provided ideal conditions for the flights.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
https://youtu.be/KrbWRAgFl_w
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
https://youtu.be/gcnZUmjJ8Z0

On Saturday April 25, 2020, in Ventura County four pilots provided a flyby at the St. John's Regional Medical Center.

Palm Springs Air Museum plans on flying across the Coachella Valley in tribute to local first responders, essential workers and health car professionals. As opposed to the other events, the museum plans on flying on a weekly basis during the pandemic.

Nationally, many military flyovers have been planned as part of Operation America Strong.
The Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels have been performing flybys individually and as a team.
The US Air Force Thunderbirds have flown over Las Vegas, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, New York, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia areas.
Nevada National Guard 152nd Airlift Wing - High Rollers.
The 169th Fighter Wing - F-16 Swamp Fox pilots flew over South Carolina.
The 122nd Fighter Wing - Blacksnakes, flew over Fort Wayne and Indianapolis

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
https://youtu.be/iK_zVNMDmM4
Whiteman Air Force Base covered Kansas City, Sedalia, and Warrensburg.

In the United Kingdom, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which is based at RAF Coningsby will be performing a WWII Spitfire flyby for Captain Tom Moore who has raised over $37 million for the United Kingdom's National Health Service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Captain Moore celebrated his 100th birthday on April 30, 2020.

Italy and Israel have also been participating in flyovers to honor the front-line medical staff and raise the spirits of their respective countries.

Interesting Links

The unedited solo flight around San Diego in Mia Noi

https://youtu.be/1ZQa6ifx-pY

Kansas City Flyover

https://www.kshb.com/news/coronavirus/hope-flight-aims-to-lift-spirits-amid-covid-19-crisis

Captain Tom Moore's story

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-52453194

Captain Tom Moore's 100 birthday celebrated with a Spitfire flyover

https://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/52488385/captain-tom-moore-celebrates-100th-birthday

Italy's flying fight against coronavirus

https://theaviationist.com/2020/03/16/the-story-behind-the-frecce-tricoloris-video-that-has-become-the-symbol-of-italys-battle-against-coronavirus/

Inside the cockpit of the Italian flyover - tricolor salute

https://theaviationist.com/2020/04/26/experience-the-frecce-tricoloris-rome-flyover-in-this-stunning-4k-360-degree-cockpit-video/

By Daron Cristy - www.MiaNoiTrading.com
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