What it lacked in the speed and precision of the Thunderbirds’ Las Vegas show of support for essential workers, a general aviation version of the tribute in San Diego made up for in variety. About 25 local pilots flew formation flights over hospitals and care facilities in the San Diego area on Friday to show appreciation for the work done by frontline healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic. “There was a fly-by in Kansas City, and somebody said, why can’t we do that here in San Diego, because we have a lot of local professional pilots,” said Phil Kendro, a Marine veteran and airshow organizer who put the spectacle together. Aircraft ranged from Bonanzas to warbirds, some of which trailed show smoke.
On the ground, workers streamed out of their facilities in scrubs and masks to take in the air show and enjoy the appreciation. “To have the staff all come out and be recognized … you know, they’re all coming and showing up to work so it’s nice to hear a thank you from the community,” acute care manager Courtney Robison told the Los Angeles Times.