Flyovers take over the Amarillo sky on Independence Day
Thu, 05 Jul 2012 03:08:15 GMT —
While a lot of people with the day off were lining the streets of their town for the annual parade, a handful of pilots were up in the air providing a little extra show for these celebrations.
Pronews 7 spent the day in the air with these aviators and takes us through their day.
The day began hours before any parade with the briefing, where it was decided which planes would be slow and low and which ones would be high and fast. They were all paired up with planes of equal power, so the â??Lâ?? or Liaison planes from the Korean era flew over Tanglewood and Canyon while the other two trainers flew over panhandle before meeting up with the first group for the Canyon flyover.
After the briefing, there's the usual checklist to go through and then we strapped up and slipped the surly bonds of earth.
For pilots like Tom Nichols who let me tag along in his plane, being up in the air is more than just a hobby. It's his passion.
"It's probably more of a passion and every flight is a challenge in some sort or another," said Nichols.
Tom is a retired endincrinologist, and served in the air force, but didn't start flying until after his tour of duty was up.
"Which shows how smart I was about paying to learn to fly."
Many of these pilots are former military and once flying is in their blood, they can't live without it and it's extra special with precision flying.
"The wingtips are probably 3 feet vertically and 3 feet horizontally and the fuselages are about 325 feet apart. I am focused on teat plane that gap between the ailerons and exhaust stack."
They say while flying is what they love to do, being able to do it and celebrate events like America's birthday adds that little extra something to a flight.
"It's important to help the country celebrate but we also do flyovers and the missing man formations when a veteran passes away at his funeral.
After almost 90 minutes airborn and three towns visited, we all made it back safely to the Blue Sky field south of Amarillo for a debriefing and some "jobs well done" ready to fire the engine back up for their next flight.
"If you enjoyed it half as much as me, then you had a great flight," he told me