The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds paid tribute to coronavirus front-line medical workers Tuesday as the air squads roared over he Big Apple Tuesday in a sky-high display of precision flying.
The 40-minute, joint flying demonstration by the Navy’s Angels and the US Air Force T-Birds launched a nationwide display of airborne shout-outs to first responders and health care workers, with the jet teams taking to the skies above Manhattan, Long Island and New Jersey.
Hundreds of New Yorkers crowded waterfront parks and venues to catch the high-flying spectacle — many ignoring social distancing rules in the process.
“I’m not worried about it,” said Arthur Moss, 41, who caught the show with friends at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City. “If you’re outside you don’t need to wear a mask.”
Actually, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said folks must wear masks outside when social distancing is not feasible, such on crowded sidewalks — but Moss, of New Orleans, apparently didn’t know that.
“It’s a beautiful day,” he added. “I’m from New Orleans and I always used to see the Blue Angels. I’m out here to support the frontline people.”
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One local, who identified herself only as Margaret Ann, said she tried social distancing but found it near impossible.
“We tried, but the piers are 10-feet wide, same with the sidewalks,” the 34-year-old mom said. “When these many people come at once there really isn’t much you can do.”
Nearly 500 people gathered along the park, many leaving cars double- and triple-parked along Center Boulevard to rush out to the piers so as not to miss the show.
The jets’ first zoomed over the George Washington Bridge around noon, then veered west over Newark, before flying east over Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. After that, they buzzed out over the Long Island Sound, looping around Westchester County before heading south toward Pennsylvania for the next leg of the tour.
Video shows the war birds flying in Delta formation over Downtown Brooklyn.
The Thunderbirds were founded in 1953, and the Blue Angels in 1946, in the wake of World War II.