Why the Air Force Thunderbirds did not fly over Long Beach

Thousands of spectators made their way to rooftops, ocean-front viewpoints and vistas Friday afternoon hoping to see a much-anticipated flyover by the Air Force Thunderbirds, a flight planned to salute the state’s frontline responders.

But spectators in Long Beach and parts of the South Bay were disappointed when the jets didn’t show, some waiting hours to see the show.

The Thunderbirds posted an update on Facebook Friday explaining why the flight path was changed.

The pilots “made in-flight modifications to the pre-coordinated route due to an extremely high concentration of unexpected air traffic,” the post said. “These changes were made to ensure the safety and security of the pilots and public, which is always our top priority.

“We hope those who were unable to view the flyover can enjoy the photo and video footage from the event while keeping the frontline workers in your thoughts.”

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.