A female bomber pilot will lead a triple-bomber flyover ahead of Super Bowl 55 this weekend in formation with a B-1B Lancer and a B-52 Stratofortress.
A B-2 instructor pilot, Capt. Sarah Kociuba has flown over 90 combat missions and holds more than 1,700 flight hours in five different aircraft, Fox 29 Philadelphia reported.
“It is very exciting, I am very humbled,” Kociuba said. “We are certainly doing our prep for it.”
According to Fox, three separate bases in North Dakota, South Dakota and Missouri will supply the bombers. The pilots will organize in restricted airspace known among military personnel as a “whiskey area” before passing over the Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Florida.
“We will rejoin very low altitude, very high speed and very close together in this whiskey area, and then we’ll work our timing, and then do the flyover,” Kociuba explained.
The flight will be around seven or eight hours round trip in order for the Air Force to execute training in addition to the flyover. Kociuba acknowledged that she would miss the game, but said she planned to watch it after her flight.
“I’m not going to get to watch the game, so I hope there’s no spoilers before I land,” she added. “I’m going to have to watch it afterwards!”
Kociuba said weeks of planning make missions like the Super Bowl flyover possible.
“We’ve been working for weeks making this plan very precise, so that we can execute it,” she said. “So we’ll all brief together, and plan together, and make this rejoin happen.”
The Super Bowl will feature the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs, with each team being led by powerhouse quarterbacks Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, respectively.
According to the Washington Post, the city to host the Super Bowl typically sees an influx of 150,000 visitors from out of state, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will likely cause that number to drip significantly.
This year’s event will have the smallest crowd ever, with attendance capped at just 22,000 people – previous games have held over 100,000 spectators.
Among those in attendance will be 7,500 vaccinated health-care workers from across the nations who received all-expenses-paid trips to Florida for the big game.
“I got chosen because I had gotten approximately 200 people to sign up to be in the covid-19 vaccine trials that proved the vaccines worked,” explained Josh Albrektson, a Los Angeles-based neuroradiologist. “My biggest fear [about attending] is the four-hour flight back and forth to Tampa Bay, but since I have good masks and a Pfizer vaccine, I am not as worried about it.”