Super Bowl 58 Fly-By: US Air Force Thunderbirds To Perform for Chiefs vs. 49ers

    The Super Bowl 58 fly-by will be performed shortly before kickoff. Here is everything to know about the US Air Force Thunderbirds.

    No big event is complete without a military flyover, and the Super Bowl 58 fly-by will be performed by the US Air Force Thunderbirds.

    Just a short journey from their base, the flyover will last just seconds but is a magical part of any Super Bowl as fans get to view the glorious Air Force planes.

    US Air Force Thunderbirds Will Perform Super Bowl 58 Fly-By

    The US Air Force Thunderbirds will do a fly-by during the national anthem before Super Bowl 58 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

    Fly-bys by the US Air Force have become a staple of the pre-game pageantry of the Super Bowl, but it will be the first time since 2019 that the Thunderbirds will use their F-16s for the event. The aircraft has a top speed of 1,350 mph but will take a more modest pace for the Super Bowl fly-by.

    The Thunderbirds are iconic machines, and fans will be able to see the red, white, and blue colors of the planes prior to kickoff. Specifically, it will be the USAF’s Air Demonstration Squadron of the Thunderbirds who will perform the special fly-by.

    The only problem with the flyover is that those in the stadium won’t be able to see it.

    Allegiant Field in Las Vegas is enclosed with a roof, meaning it is likely to only be heard by those in the stadium and shown on screens.

    This means we won’t get any iconic images of players honoring the national anthem with the Thunderbirds overhead. However, those watching at home are promised an amazing view of the fly-by from broadcast helicopters.

    Super Bowl 58 Fly-By
    PHOTO – from U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

    The Thunderbirds squadron is based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, just 15 miles from Allegiant Stadium. It takes an average of 20 minutes to drive, but the Thunderbirds will do it in around one minute.

    Air and Space Forces Magazine states that “the Thunderbirds squadron comprises eight pilots, four support officers, three civilians, and over 130 enlisted personnel across 25 career fields.” However, there will only be six planes conducting the fly-by over Las Vegas.

    Speaking before the Super Bowl in 2019, Lt. Col. Eric Gorney who was the operations officer for the fly-by, told CBS how difficult it is for the Thunderbirds to get their timing right.

    “The trickiest part is getting the timing just right. The first thing to remember is we’re going 400 mph. So we can’t just stop and hover,” Gorney said.

    “the other tricky thing is that we have committed to the flyover. We have started flying in about a minute prior to the national anthem even starting.”

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    The football director for CBS at that Super Bowl, Mike Arnold, also spoke about how difficult the timings can be. “I mean the flyover happens in about two seconds, so you better be on it,” Arnold shared. “they’re not going to circle around the stadium and do it again for you.”

    With over 100 million people watching it will be the biggest event of the year for the Thunderbirds squadron, who will conduct their first display of the year at Super Bowl 58.

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