BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — California Aeronautical University (CAU) conducted a flyover in Bakersfield on Thursday that was meant to show thanks, solidarity, and recognition to the many people who have worked tirelessly to support the community during the 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 educational institutions, restaurants, grocery stores, utility and sanitation services, law enforcement, and fire and rescue.
"All of these pilots are airshow performers and California aeronautical university is a big part of the airshow community. We go out and spread the word and try to get people interested in aviation. And unfortunately, all the shows and different things have been canceled this year," explained Matthew Johnston, president of CAU. "So we thought brining these people out that are generally out entertaining audiences with their magnificent aircraft ... we can give them the opportunity to go out and give thanks again to Kern County for everything it's doing to protect all of us."
The university coordinated five aircraft to fly in formation over many neighborhoods, shopping centers, and major medical facilities.
"We're so excited to show Bakersfield some spirit and say thank you to all the first responders and essential workers," said pilot Vicky Benzing.
And those medical workers appreciated the event.
"This experience was exciting! It was a mood lifter for me and I think a lot of people. I just began to clap afterward. It felt like something social we got to do for a change. It was fun it was exciting," said Shelley Musick of Adventist Health Bakersfield.