Falcon Warbirds – Mesa, Arizona
The Falcon Warbirds was founded with the purpose of providing quality access to classic warbird airplanes on display, guided tours, and exhibition formation flights to the public. Located at Falcon Field airport in Mesa, Arizona, Falcon Warbirds offers: Missing Man Flights for funerals and memorials, Ash Dispersal Flights, Airshows and Events.
Missing Man Formation
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. “I’ve never experienced anything like it. Truly profound. I’ll never forget it.”
Not Just for the Military
Our 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 further questions answered please contact us.
The Aircraft and Crews
All of the aircraft in the formation are fully restored ex-military aircraft and the pilots are highly experienced in formation flying.
The time-honored Missing Man Formation is typically flown over the funeral location just after the service, over the interment, or over the memorial celebration following. A pass is first made in the diamond formation, followed by the Missing Man Formation. As the flight passes overhead, the #3 wingman, trailing white smoke pulls skyward from the formation then banks out of sight signifying The Missing Man. The remaining three aircraft hold course, leaving open the position left by their missing wingman. The impact is profoundly moving.