Tight formation flights are designed to display expert flying skills and the capabilities of the aircraft. If you love aviation this is just beautiful to watch.
These pilots provide exciting and memorable performances that combines precision formation flying and formation aerobatics.
Flights are performed by pilots familiar with appropriate protocol. The impact of the Missing Man Memorial Flight is profoundly moving.
The warbird aircraft are fully restored ex-military planes and the pilots are highly experienced in every aspect of safe formation flying.
It's a rare sight. You can hear, almost feel, them as they approach, the unmistakable rumble of heavy aircraft.
These are not your cute lightweight hobby planes. These are true military trainers. Spectators stand transfixed and hold their cameras steady. Then in come the planes, flying low over the crowd in tight formation, smoke trailing behind. It's a truly impressive experience.
Pilots intensely focus on their flight leader, keeping close and quickly responding to orders. Those orders mostly come through hand signals, and the group can complete entire flights and cycle through several formations without saying a word over the radio. Sometimes the hand signals are augmented by a wobble of the rudder or other meaningful oscillations. The pilots that fly in these warbird formations are civilians; it is required that each one has been trained, tested and issued a formation wingman's certification.
"I’ve never experienced anything like it. Truly profound. I’ll never forget it."
The Missing Man Formation was originally an aerial salute honoring a veteran who has died, performed as an aircraft flyover at a funeral or memorial event. In all variations of this demonstration, the “missing” aircraft acts as a designation of the Veteran who has passed away, symbolizing their departure to the heavens. The heartfelt response from the crowd goes beyond explanation. When that single plane pulls up with smoke on and flies off alone into the horizon as if never to be seen again, there is a profound unrehearsed moment of silence. Even the most stoic soul among those on the ground involuntarily sheds a tear over the helplessness and finality of losing their dear friend.
The Missing Man Formation is available to anyone wishing to add a profound visual effect to the process of saying final good-byes to a loved one. Neither you nor anyone in your group or family need be military or even a pilot of any sort. To schedule a Missing Man Flyover or have questions answered please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.