LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Air National Guard plans a flyover salute to health care professionals and all Nebraskans responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. After weather caused the cancellation of the salute originally planned earlier this week, it has been rescheduled for Monday, May 18.
The revised flight plan now includes more than 30 Nebraska hospitals in communities spanning nearly the entire state.
“This is our special way of honoring our healthcare professionals and neighbors for how they have responded and come together as Nebraskans during these unprecedented times,” Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska National Guard adjutant general, said. “The National Guard is a community-based organization made up of Citizen Soldiers and Airmen who stand in solidarity with our families, friends and neighbors who are doing their part to kill the virus and end this pandemic.”
A 155th Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker, based out of the Lincoln Air National Guard base, will fly above the following Panhandle health care facilities at the following times (exact times may vary by up to 10 minutes):
* Box Butte General Hospital, Alliance: 12:10 p.m. MDT
* Chadron Community Hospital, Chadron: 12:24 p.m. MDT
The KC-135 will fly above these locations at an altitude between 1,000 and 1,500 feet and speed of more than 200 miles per hour.
Nebraskans are encouraged to view the flyovers from the safety of their homes or work while practicing physical distancing. Anyone working in and living around these facilities should have no problem seeing or hearing the aircraft.
The tribute, scheduled and flown as part of an already planned training flight, is a time-honored aviation tradition of rendering honors and recognition to outstanding individuals and groups.
The Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and enhances our nation’s ability to project airpower globally. Its pilots must perform a minimum number of flight hours annually to maintain proficiency. Leveraging an already-planned training flight means the flyovers will not incur additional costs to taxpayers.