Flyover honoring Covid-19 frontline workers to end over Niagara Falls

  • Published
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

A formation of Western New York & New England-based U.S. Air Force aircraft are scheduled to fly over parts of Western New York on May 12, 2020, starting at approximately 11:45 a.m.

Following routine training operations, a KC-135 from the 914th Air Refueling Wing’s 328th Air Refueling Squadron at NFARS and F-35s from the Vermont Air National Guard will honor all of those working on the front lines during the Covid-19 crisis.

The 328th ARS Director of Operations, Lt. Col. Ben Canetti, says the aircraft were granted final approval to fly in the restricted airspace above the city of Niagara Falls.

“There’s a lot of limitations when planning a flyover to ensure the safest environment possible,” says Canetti. “None of this would have been possible without the help of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Transport Canada, and Buffalo Approach Control. We wish we could visit every location across Western New York but we’re limited to time, resources and fuel.”

Canetti says the route was based on population density to safely fly over as many locations as possible before being required to return to base.

“If we could fly over all of Western New York, we would. This is our salute to everyone in Western New York that’s in this fight,” says Canetti.

The flyover is directly following required aerial refueling training operations for the two wings. The formation is scheduled to start at approximately 11:45 a.m. over Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport, followed by Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, Niagara Falls International Airport, DeGraff Memorial Hospital, University at Buffalo, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, St. Joseph Campus, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo General Medical Center, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Erie County Medical Center & Sisters of Charity Hospital, VA Western New York Healthcare System, Kenmore Mercy Hospital and ending at approximately 12:15 p.m. over Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

These are just a few of the many healthcare, emergency response and essential personnel organizations that are along the flight path that will be able to view the flyover salute. We encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing when viewing the flyover in your area. Times and locations are subject to change.