Yesterday, the US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels conducted a special joint flyover of New York City, Philadelphia, and nearby communities. The mission, part of Operation America Strong, saw both teams launch from the Blue Angels’ home base at NAS Pensacola, fly up to NYC, then return home again at the end of the day. Along the way, the jets were supported by four KC-10 Extenders from JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, an incredible sight of its own. The tankers were easily tracked as they lead the teams north and then orbited over New York while refueling.
The flyover was covered by live streams from numerous major news networks as well as countless videos and photos posted to social media. We’ve been sharing many fan videos on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Of course the people with the best view were in the jets themselves, and many of the aerial photos and video clips have been made available to us. Check out these amazing shots and scroll below for a compilation video taking you in the cockpit for some of the flight!
Observant viewers noticed a few peculiar things during the coverage. Over New York, Blue Angel #1’s refueling probe was extended for the entire flyby sequence. Also, both #2 aircraft were swapped out between New York City and Philadelphia; they went from single-seat to two-seat models. Finally, both teams used only their normal white smoke instead of the blue and red colored smoke the Thunderbirds were seen testing in Pensacola before the the flyby.
The teams will continue a program of flybys across the country in the coming weeks, and other military units are conducting flyovers of their own. You can see the latest confirmed flyover dates and routes here on our blog and in our forums.
Our Canadian friends have their own set of flyovers to look forward to. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds announced today that they will be performing similar missions across Canada as part of what they are calling Operation Inspiration.
What a fantastic video. Absolutely amazing. Thanks for making it available.
Thank you USAF and USN!
Our country needed a shot in the arm and you gave it!
Fantasic show of unity for our “HEROS”..
Wow proud to be an American. Thank you for all you do.
Fills me with American pride
Saw it many times when we live in Chicago in the downtown area. They used to have the Water and Air Show on the lakefront. We used to be in a condo when they were flying right over head. Quite a sight we enjoyed it every year thank you for your service ex-army
When our son was eight years old, he’s 42 now, we saw the Blue Angel’s practice twice the same day in Pensacola. One of the maintenance staff let us out on the tarmac to watch the practice with the rest of the pilots families. Before the afternoon session they let him sit in the cockpit of one of the planes as it was towed inside. It was such a thrill. Now, they are open to all when ever they practice. A must see!
AirForce Bratt from times past, and have never seen both fly together. I’ve seen you guys at the Officers Club, also in times past and always the pilots were respectful and humble, dont ever lose that…You are Americas Best, God Bless you and your Families…
Every time I see a video of the Thubderbirds & Blue Angels flying as one, it gives me goose bumps Proud to be an American. God bless you & your familes. Stay Safe
Spectacular! Best pilots in the world…..
I would love to have the image used in the title shot of the compilation video (I believe from 8:21) with both the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds in formation. Is it available anywhere either digitally or as a print?
That is one of the most impressive aviation videos I’ve seen. Thank you.
Hi Rick, I’ve added the photo to the bottom of the post so you can save it from there. It is a team-released photo so you can print it as you wish!