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CAU Fly Over

Spirit of Liberty Foundation:

America's Operation Thank You The Relay in the Sky

Operation Thank You Cities - California Aeronautical UniversityFor over 244 years America has been the World’s beacon of freedom, hope and inspiration, especially during the most challenging of times. Today, we have one of these challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic. The resilience of the American people will once again overcome and shine brightly.

America’s resilience is best exemplified by our Healthcare Heroes fighting in the trenches at the front lines to overcome the evil COVID-19 enemy.

All of America is invited to participate in America’s Operation Thank You, The Relay In The Sky, a relay of Aircraft flying across America visiting all 50 States to honor and thank Healthcare Heroes and First Responders.

As part of America’s Operation Thank You, The Relay In The Sky, a special Spirit of Liberty Torch has been created with America’s colors – red, white and blue and a representation of the famous flame from the Statue of Liberty’s torch. America’s Operation Thank You, The Relay In The Sky, will fly the Spirit of Liberty Torch and Love Healthcare Heroes Flag across America in an unprecedented Relay of aircraft supported at the highest levels of America’s Aircraft Industry including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) with a combined membership of nearly 700,000.

Each organization is inviting their members to participate by making short flights between cities across America. The leading FBOs are also participating. They will hand the America’s Spirit of Liberty Torch and the Love Healthcare Heroes Flag to the next pilot to carry on the next leg of the Relay to honor and support our heroes. Additionally, the major FBO’s including Signature Flight and Atlantic Aviation are participating. Most importantly, also participating is the American Hospital Association (AHA) which has over 5,000 member hospitals and hundreds of thousands Doctors, Nurses, Medical Staff and Administrators who are supporting this and participating in this greatly needed effort.

As each America’s Operation Thank You, The Relay In The Sky, flight completes its leg, landing in communities across America, Healthcare Heroes – Doctors, Nurses, Care Givers, First Responders and Community Dignitaries will be at the airport to participate in the America’s Operation Thank You Ceremony to thank these “Hometown Heroes.” They will each be presented a Love Healthcare Heroes Flag to be flown in their community and will hold the Spirit of Liberty Torch for the media to capture the moment to honor them.

Operation Thank You - California Aeronautical University

Each stop and ceremony will be held at the leading premier FBO’s at the airport and not the public areas for commercial airlines. At the completion of each Ceremony, the Spirit of Liberty Torch and Love Healthcare Heroes Flag will be passed to the next pilot to continue the Relay to the next city. America’s Operation Thank You, The Relay In The Sky, will visit all 50 States


Proclamations of Support from the Governors and their State Flags will be presented at Relay stops. Additionally, local Mayors and Dignitaries will be invited to provide similar proclamations to be carried across America. Both Governors and Mayors will be encouraged to designate the day or week when America’s Operation Thank You, The Relay In The Sky, visits their State and/or City as “Healthcare Heroes Day”.

The America’s Operation Thank You, The Relay In The Sky, will begin September 23 and the Closing Ceremony will be on October 30 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Over 100 Healthcare Heroes and First Responders will carry the Spirit of Liberty Torch, Love Healthcare Heroes Flag and America’s Flag – a dramatic giant 15’x 35” Flag with all 50 State Flags sewn together to be carried from the U.S. Capitol down the National Mall to the the White House where America’s Healthcare Heroes and First Responders will be honored.

America’s Operation Thank You, The Relay In The Sky, will be the equivalent of a modern-day Ticker Tape Parade across America that occurred at the end of World War II to honor our Armed Forces. Today, it will be a modern-day version to honor today’s Heroes … our Healthcare Professionals and First Responders who are valiantly fighting in the trenches to combat the silent, evil COVID-19 enemy.

Corporate America and other Patriotic organizations, including Associations and Labor Unions, will be invited to participate to make a greatly needed and powerful statement of support to honor and thank America’s Healthcare Heroes and First Responders!


OTH Cities 2 - California Aeronautical University





Fly Over Map - California Aeronautical UniversityFly Over in Bakersfield Honoring Essential Workers and Our Community Spirit

Bakersfield residents, turn your eyes to the sky on Thursday, April 30th to witness a Fly Over in honor of the many people who have worked tirelessly to support our community during this COVID-19 pandemic.

California Aeronautical University (CAU) will conduct a Fly Over in Bakersfield Thursday April 30th. The Fly Over is meant to show thanks, solidarity and recognition to the many people who have worked tirelessly to support our community during this COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition to the medical workers taking care of those who have fallen ill, there are many people that are serving in other ways to support our educational institutions, restaurants, grocery stores, utility and sanitation services, law enforcement, fire and rescue and countless other services. The University has coordinated five aircraft to fly in formation over many neighborhoods, shopping centers and major medical facilities in Bakersfield.

The route depicted on the map provides way points and estimated times over each point for the flight. The formation flight will be led by the Condor Squadron, a professional formation flying team made up of four WWII era T-6 trainers. Directly behind them is Vicky Benzing in her bright red Stearman biplane, also a WWII era trainer. Vicky is a professional airshow performer sponsored by California Aeronautical University. The aircraft will be flying low enough to be highly visible while still adhering to all FAA regulations. Several of the aircraft will have smoke trails to increase their visibility.

“We are looking forward to showing the community gratitude for all they do and acknowledging everyone impacted. It has not been easy for most during this pandemic and it is important that we all do what we can to support one another. Hopefully everyone that can, will look to the sky on April 30th and be reminded of the important things in life”

- Matthew Johnston, President, California Aeronautical University.

California Aeronautical University would like to give a special thanks to our supporting local government and the Kern County Public Health Services Department for providing our community with information and health safety practices to best protect everyone from this new virus. We invite everyone in the community to look up to the sky on Thursday April 30th from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm as we fly over.

Join us in saying thanks to our community by waving a flag, clapping or making a sign saying thank you to our essential workers, and everyone in our community navigating a new normal.

Together we can show support for our community as we look forward to our post COVID-19 “stay at home” life. We are Kern County strong!!


You can read more about our fly over here.