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Vt.-based fighter jets to do flyover for front-line workers on Friday

Staff report
Published: 5/21/2020 9:43:03 PM
Modified: 5/21/2020 9:42:52 PM

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — Four fighter jets with the Vermont Air National Guard will do a flyover early Friday afternoon over 16 hospitals in Vermont to honor front-line COVID-19 workers across the state.

The F-35 Lightning IIs will take off from the Vermont Air National Guard Base in South Burlington at noon and do a statewide flyover in formation lasting about 90 minutes.

The pilots are slated to head south along the western part of Vermont, head east after flying over Southwestern Vermont Health Care in Bennington toward Brattleboro, and then head north along the Connecticut River Valley.

They are expected to fly over Springfield Hospital at 12:37 p.m., Mount Ascutney Hospital and Health Care in Windsor at 12:39 p.m., the White River Junction VA Medical Center around 12:41 p.m. and Gifford Medical Center in Randolph around 12:45 p.m., although the times are approximate.

Similar events have taken place around the country, including Washington, D.C., and are part of an Air Force campaign known as Operation America Strong, the Guard said in a news release on Thursday.

The 158th Fighter Wing of the Vermont Air National Guard shares a runway with Burlington International Airport.

Residents in flyover towns “can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead,” the release said. They were asked not to travel to hospitals or gather in large groups to watch the jets and to practice social distancing.

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