NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, “The Thunderbirds” will kick off the Las Vegas Raiders’ first home game with a flyover during the national anthem performance September 21st at approximately 5:10 p.m. over Allegiant Stadium.
“The Thunderbirds are honored to support the Raiders’ first home game in Las Vegas,” said Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbirds commander and leader. “We look forward to showcasing the pride, precision and professionalism of our nation’s 693,000 total force Airmen to football fans around the world; and welcoming the Raiders as neighbors in the city we call home.”
The Thunderbirds’ flyover prior to the first-ever NFL regular season game in Las Vegas will feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, soaring over Allegiant Stadium at the moment the final notes of The Star-Spangled Banner are sung.
The aircraft will take off from Nellis Air Force Base and start flying at low altitudes and emitting performance smoke at the intersection of I-15 and East Craig Road. They’ll proceed parallel with I-15 towards Allegiant Stadium and flyover from the northeast to the southwest; and then return to Nellis AFB.
Residents along the flight path can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead.
The Thunderbirds have been stationed in Las Vegas since 1956. The team is composed of eight pilots, four support officers, 120 enlisted Airmen and three civilians serving in 28 Air Force job specialties. This is the team’s third national sport event flyover in 2020 and the first-ever collaboration with the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Thunderbirds typically perform hour-long aerial demonstrations at air shows across the United States from March to November but most of their performances were canceled this year due to the coronavirus. In lieu of air shows, the team collaborated with the United States Navy Blue Angels to conduct multi-city flyovers as a salute to frontline coronavirus responders in April and May after successfully conducting a flyover of the Las Vegas for local healthcare workers.
For more information on the Thunderbirds, please check out afthunderbirds.com or follow @afthunderbirds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Note to Editors and Assignment Desks:
The Thunderbirds demonstration pilots will be available for virtual and phone interviews Monday, September 21st at 9 a.m. Media desiring an interview with the pilots upon arrival should contact the Thunderbirds Public Affairs at via e-mail at: [email protected]