by: Phil Rankin and FOX31 Denver

Posted: Apr 19, 2020 / 06:02 AM CDT
/ Updated: Apr 18, 2020 / 02:21 PM CDT

DENVER (KDVR) — The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds honored essential front line workers in the COVID-19 pandemic with a Colorado flyover Saturday.

The flying team began in northern Colorado, heading south to Boulder and through the Denver area.

The Thunderbirds planned the flyover across communities in Colorado to honor “healthcare workers, first responders, military members and other essential personnel who are working on the front lines to combat the coronavirus.” The flight path took them over more than 40 medical facilities.

People throughout Colorado, including at local hospitals, were able to witness the flyover while practicing social distancing, as the Thunderbirds covered a wide area.

After making it through the Denver metro area, the Thunderbirds continued toward Colorado Springs and the southern part of the state. The team began their flying for the day at the Air Force Academy commencement where Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance.

Spending more than an hour in the air, the Thunderbirds relied on aerial refueling from a KC-135 tanker aircraft. The support allowed them to extend their range for the length of the flight.

Thunderbirds flight plan for April 18, 2020. (Courtesy: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds)

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