City urges: Stay home to watch Thunderbirds, Blue Angels fly over Philly

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As we get closer and closer to Tuesday afternoon’s Blue Angels and Thunderbirds joint fly over across Philadelphia, the city is urging residents to still maintain a social distance.

Although you may feel inclined to gather at places like the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a better view of the event, the city asks you to avoid the temptation. 

“Refrain from traveling to landmarks, hospitals and gathering in large groups to view the fly over,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Residents will be able to see the fly over from the safety of their homes.

“We want to remind everyone if you chose to go outside, you should maintain all social distancing guidelines during this event.”

The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels will start in Trenton at 1:45 p.m. They’ll follow up I-95 from above, and they’re set to start their 20-minute Philadelphia fly over at 2 p.m. 

Tomorrow's #AmericaStrong flyover serves as a salute to frontline #COVID responders.#InThisTogether

— Thunderbirds (@AFThunderbirds) April 27, 2020

“Residents along the flight path can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft passes overhead,” added Kenney. 

The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels have held similar events recently in other cities to salute COVID-19 front-line workers. 

But some people, including Kenney, question if this is the best use of resources. 

“We could probably use the money on something else rather than personnel and equipment use,” he said. “But I’m not going to turn something positive into a negative. I hope people enjoy the fly over. I love looking at those planes myself.”

The U.S Department of Defense noted that Thunderbird and Blue Angel pilots are required to attain a certain amount of flight hours in order to stay sharp. Since scheduled performances have been canceled due to coronavirus, this is a way to fulfill their training requirements.

The Department added these fly overs will not cost taxpayers anything extra.