New Yorkers wanting a break from the seemingly endless limbo of lockdown would be well advised to take to their windows, roofs or stoops tomorrow and look up at the sky: Starting at noon on April 28, the military's two elite aerobatic squadrons—the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels—will be commencing a joint flyby over the metro area in honor of the healthcare workers and first responders on the frontlines of the current crisis. The event joins other tributes that have included everything from light shows at the top of the Empire State Building to giant hearts mowed into the lawn at Bryant Park.
The flyby will begin over the George Washington Bridge, heading south above upper Manhattan before turning west across the river for a loop over Newark. Then it's back over lower Manhattan for a loop above Brooklyn before heading east to Queens and Long Island. Somewhere past Bay Shore, the formation will take a westerly heading over Long Island Sound to buzz Connecticut. White Plains and the Bronx follow as the flight bears south once again for another pass at Queens and Brooklyn. From there, it's on to wow crowds in Trenton and Philadelphia.
The two services will be operating different fighter jets in distinctive liveries—blue and gold F-18s for the Navy and F-16s wrapped in red, white and blue for the Air Force. Six aircraft from each service will take part in an event that will last approximately 40 minutes. Organizers urge spectators to maintain social distancing and keep to their neighborhoods while observing the flyby. And don't worry about knowing where the jets are: Since each of their engines generate well over 20,000 pounds of thrust, you will definitely hear them coming.