LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The US Air Force Thunderbirds dazzled the sky and wowed the crowd below when they flew over Allegiant Stadium during the national anthem Monday. It happened before the Las Vegas Raiders took the field to play at the season opener against the New Orleans Saints.
8 News NOW spoke with one of the pilots about the flyover ahead of Monday’s game. He says they’re “super excited” about the flyover.
WATCH: Interview with USAF Capt. Kyle Oliver, Thunderbird pilot.
“We’ve been here in Las Vegas for a really long time. We love being part of the community. So, to able to be part of this special night in Vegas for not just the Raiders but for the whole city, to be able to represent the city of Las Vegas and the U.S. Air Force, it’s going to be an incredible night,” said U.S. Air Force Captain Major Kyle Oliver, Thunderbird 6.
The roar of six F-16 Fighting Falcons is expected to be timed to the end of “The Star Spangled Banner” at about 5:15 p.m.
An Air Force news release says the Thunderbirds 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 fly over from the northeast to the southwest before returning to Nellis AFB.
“Our run is going to take us from north to south down the Strip,” Oliver said.
The Thunderbirds have been working on this special mission for weeks. Their path from Nellis AFB starts about 30 miles from the stadium and they will be flying in formation at around 400 mph.
“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,” said said Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbirds commander and leader.
The Thunderbirds recently flew over the Indianapolis 500.