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Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds can be a go — from Cobb County

MARIETTA — A spectacle of Sunday’s Tremendous Bowl LIII can be taking off from Marietta simply minutes earlier than kickoff.

Performing of their first public occasion of 2019, america Air Pressure Air Demonstration Squadron Thunderbirds may have six of its F-16 Combating Falcons hovering over Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the intervening time Gladys Knight sings the ultimate notes of the Star-Spangled Banner.

The jets will fireplace up their engines from the runway of Dobbins Air Reserve Base an estimated 20 minutes earlier than the beginning of Knight’s efficiency, in line with Maj. Glen Goncharow, who serves as flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Pressure Air Demonstration Squadron, offering medical take care of greater than 120 squadron members and their households.

Sunday’s flyover represents a return for the Thunderbirds to the massive sport, as they final flew over the Tremendous Bowl in 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Goncharow was one of many pilots who flew over that occasion.

“Once we discuss delight, precision and professionalism of america Air Pressure, particularly the precision half for this, we’re not on the lookout for the top of the nationwide anthem, we’re not on the lookout for even the phrase ‘courageous’ — we’re on the lookout for the letter ‘R’ within the phrase ‘courageous.’ That’s what our aim is, to be over the stadium at that letter ‘R,’” Goncharow stated Friday because the Thunderbirds crew ready at Dobbins.

To achieve that stage of precision, Goncharow says, two members of the Thunderbirds crew can be within the stadium and in communications with the six jets. After the pilots decide to their run-in over the stadium a minute previous to the track’s begin, the crew members inside will observe Knight’s efficiency and inform the pilots on whether or not they need to improve or lower their speeds as a way to make their mark.

How briskly the jets can be touring on the time they fly over the stadium will rely upon whether or not there’s a change in energy setting on the finish, however the aim velocity can be 400 mph, Goncharow stated.

“When you’re touring 400 mph, you possibly can’t simply cease — there’s no brakes, so it’s very depending on how Gladys Knight works,” he stated. “There’s plenty of teamwork on this.”

The Thunderbirds’ crew consists of eight pilots, 4 assist officers, 120 enlisted Airmen and three civilians serving in 28 Air Pressure job specialties.

“They spend 1000’s of hours making ready for actions like this, and they’re completely the perfect at their craft,” stated Brig. Gen. Richard Kemble, commander of the 94th Airlift Wing at Dobbins, which is supporting the Thunderbirds on the flyover. Dobbins can be offering assist to different federal companies as they guarantee the protection and safety of everybody taking part within the Tremendous Bowl and associated festivities.

“It’s at all times an exceptional alternative after we get to have the Thunderbirds right here at Dobbins Air Reserve Base,” Kemble added. “For the flyover, it’s simply one other alternative to point out what the Air Pressure has to supply.”

But it surely stays to be seen if those that seemingly spent 1000’s on Tremendous Bowl tickets will see this yr’s flyover, as there’s been no definitive phrase on whether or not the retractable roof of the $1.5 billion stadium can be open.

Whereas the NFL’s choice is to have the roof open for the sport, the climate forecast to this point exhibits rain for a minimum of a part of Tremendous Bowl Sunday. There’s a 50 p.c likelihood of rain, with showers ending by noon and partly cloudy skies within the night adopted by extra clouds for later at evening, in line with AccuWeather.

“We’re simply glad to have the chance to get out of right here and showcase what your practically 660,000 women and men who serve within the Air Pressure do,” Goncharow stated. “If the dome’s open, nice, the 80,000 folks within the stadium will get to see it — if not, I assure you at 500 toes (altitude) and 500 mph, it’s going to rattle their cage and so they’ll understand it.”