An uncharacteristic bobble in the Thunderbirds’ tribute flight over the Los Angeles area on Friday has lit up the forums but hasn’t prompted any comment from the Air Force. Video shot by a news helicopter shows the No. 6 airplane doing an emergency breakaway from the signature delta formation as the No. 3 F-16 rolls in his direction as the team approaches Newport Beach. The No. 6 quickly forms up but the formation looks shaky for a few seconds before settling back into the smooth precision that is normal for the team. No. 6 does, however, seem to keep a few more feet of separation from No. 3 compared to the other jets as they go through a series of turns.
The news commentators at the L.A. ABC affiliate apparently thought it was all part of the act and one exulted “That is some cool stuff” as No. 6 rolled 90 degrees and vapor puffed from the right wingtip. “Wow” agreed his female co-host.