Many across the metro have been counting down until Friday. It’s the day both Vance and Altus Air Force Bases have scheduled a flyover in the metro and other Oklahoma cities.
Planning the flyover began late last week and is meant to salute employees who have been working on the front lines of COVID-19, from grocery store employees to health care workers.
“We are kind of excited to be able to thank them for their sacrifices,” said Maj. Jason Gossett, a pilot who will be taking part in Friday’s flyover.
Nobody understands those sacrifices more than Gossett. His wife is a nurse practitioner at Jackson County Memorial in Altus. Protecting the family has been tough.
“We have a young little son that also made it tough with child care issues but honestly, we both know we are in jobs that require us to do our job and so as much as possible we were willing to make that sacrifice,” said Gossett.
In the metro, the first set of aircraft will fly over Summit Medical in Edmond at 9:45 a.m., followed by Saint Anthony’s, Mercy, OU Med and Children’s Hospitals, two Norman Regional locations and ending at the Norman Veterans Center at 10:20 a.m.
“It’ll be 4 T-38’s, then followed by that two T-1’s, then starting the Altus aircraft is four C-17’s,” said Gossett. “Planned currently for two KC-46’s and then two KC-145’s and then trailing that will be four T-6’s.”
Each groups of aircraft will be separated five minutes apart.
A lot of work goes into preparing for such spectacle.
“We are flying separated by time but really just pre-coordination with different air craft within the Air Force,” said Gossett.
When you look up to the sky Friday morning, the United States Air Force hope you remember one thing.
“It’s not just the pilots, it’s not just the air crew and the aircraft that you see that are the ones saluting you,” said. Gossett. “It is our entire military backbone force.”
Flyovers will also be happening in Enid beginning at 9:45 a.m. flying between Integris and St. Mary’s, ending at 10 a.m.
In Lawton, pilots will fly over Ft. Sill Veterans Center and Comanche Medical Center starting at 10:09 a.m. and ending at 10:40 a.m.
The flyover will begin above Jackson County Memorial Hospital in Altus starting at 10:21 a.m. and ending at 11:53 a.m.