Thunderbirds fly over Texas Capitol
Local amateur photographer Michael Cariaga took these photos of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flying over the Texas Capitol on May 13.
The Central Texas flyover was part of “America Strong, multi-city flyovers” by the U.S. Thunderbirds and U.S. Navy Blue Angels intended to promote and celebrate “national unity behind frontline responders” to the covid-19 pandemic.
“I basically planned my meetings and a quick errand downtown to line up with the time I knew they were flying over the Capitol,” Cariaga said. “I got lucky and found a parking spot directly across from the capitol which gave me a clear view of the skyline, and then it was just a question of waiting for them to fly by.”
A U.S. Air Force press release stated, “While America Strong will showcase the Department of Defense support to healthcare workers, first responders, military, essential employees, and aims to unite all Americans in the fight against COVID-19, it also fulfills critical training requirements for both teams. Pilots must execute a minimum number of flight hours to maintain proficiency. These flyovers will incur no additional cost to taxpayers…[The Thunderbirds] typically fly at more than 30 air shows each year to demonstrate American military aviation. This year, both teams have been forced to cancel many performances in response to Department of Defense direction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.”