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Air Force Thunderbirds stop at North Platte airportTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Lined up in North Platte. (click or tap on image to enlarge)
Photo by Staff Sgt. Larry Reid Jr
The Delta Burst maneuver
Courtesy Photo­Image
The Thunderbird symbol is readily seen on the undersides.

The U.S. Air Force demonstration squadron of jet F-16 fighters – the Thunderbirds – roared over North Platte at 1:30 p.m. Monday, after a stop at the North Platte Regional Airport / Lee Bird Field to refuel.

The seven fighter planes were on the ground for about an hour, departing around 1:30 p.m., headed to their home base in Nevada.

The Thunderbirds are a precision flying squadron that has performed all over the country since 1953. On July 1, the squadron performed at Traverse City, Mich., which is near Lake Michigan, during the National Cherry Festival Air Show, according to a schedule of events published online.

The squadron typically consists of six F-16s. An extra jet was along for the trip.

The Thunderbirds tour the United States and much of the world, performing aerobatic formation fights, as well as solo flights, in specially marked aircraft. They often trail streams of smoke as they perform their impressive manuevers.

The squadron's name is taken from the Thunderbird, a legendary creature of mythologies of many indigenous North American cultures.

Military planes regularly stop at Trego-Dugan Aviation 2-4 times a month to refuel. Private charter flights are not uncommon either, including flights to bring well-heeled golfers to courses in the Sandhills.

Trego-Dugan also services commercial passenger planes for PenAir, which flies daily to and from Denver, said Heather Lee of Trego-Dugan.  

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/3/2017
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