COLORADO, USA — A parade of 40 planes flew over the Denver metro area as part of a fundraising effort for the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, known as Help Colorado Now.
A group of local aviators donated their time and resources for the Flyover Fundraising Parade and Aerial Salute to essential workers which took place on Thursday, May 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The squadron of planes took off from Rocky Mountain Metro Airport in Broomfield and looped the Denver metro area Front Range, from Longmont to Castle Rock, as both a salute to essential workers and a fundraising awareness platform for the Colorado COVID Relief Fund.
The planes varied in type, style, and speed ranging from small jets to propeller planes. All airplanes were civilian aircraft and former military aircraft known as “Warbirds.” The others were civilian air show aerobatic aircraft.
Aircraft flew together in formation groupings organized by speed while traversing the metro area.
Approximate scheduled flight path:
- 11:30 a.m. & 11:45 a.m. – Rocky Mountain Metro
- 11:35 a.m. & 11:45 a.m. - Columbine High School
- 11:35 a.m. & 11:55 a.m. - Denver Federal Center near 6th & Kipling
- 11:40 a.m. & 12:00 p.m. - Castle Rock Star
- 11:40 a.m. & 12:05 p.m. - Parker Football Stadium
- 11:50 a.m. & 12:10 p.m. - Denver Health
- 11:53 a.m. & 12:12 p.m. - Anschutz Medical Campus
- 11:56 a.m. & 12:20 p.m. - Southlands Mall
- 12:00 p.m. & 12:30 p.m. - Thornton Town Center
- 12:05 p.m. & 12:35 p.m. - Longmont H.S.
- 12:10 p.m. & 12:45 p.m. - CU Boulder
- 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Rocky Mountain Metro Airport
Unfortunately, Southlands Mall ended up being left out. According to a spokesperson, the group had to alter the original flight plan due to weather. They flew as far south as they safely could and had to turn back north.
From their homes, viewers saw three to four total groups of planes fly overhead at approximately 150 miles per hour (compared to the United States Air Force Thunderbird flyover which happened at about 500 miles per hour).
All donations made to the fund will support Colorado communities impacted by COVID-19. Hosted by Mile High United Way, the Colorado COVID Relief Fund is part of the State’s Help Colorado Now initiative. Lockheed Martin has agreed to match donations up to $500,000.
“Lockheed Martin and our more than 10,000 employees who call Colorado home are committed to doing what's right and helping Coloradans in need during these unprecedented times,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin.
“Across the state, we’re manufacturing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, contributing to school districts for distance learning, and now we're proud to initiate this match challenge. We invite Coloradans to join us in supporting Help Colorado Now.”
The aerial event aimed to inspire donations and challenge other individuals and corporations to come together as we continue to support those most impacted by COVID-19.
This collaborative effort among fellow airmen was born out of a desire to help the capable doctors, nurses and first responders who battle COVID-19 daily, and also the essential workers including janitors, grocery store clerks, sanitation workers, delivery personnel and the other unsung heroes that selflessly work daily to ensure communities have access to essential services and goods.
All those involved, from the pilots, to mechanics and ground crews, have donated their time and talents, fuel and maintenance costs, equipment and resources (including the airshow smoke utilized), to raise awareness and funds to support the Help Colorado Now program.
The flight path includes flyovers of major area hospitals from Longmont to Castle Rock as well as Columbine High School, the Castle Rock Star, Civic Center Park, Stapleton, Buckley Air Force Base, Lowery, Thornton Town Center and Longmont and Niwot High Schools.
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