C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson performed a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, to support the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson performed a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, to support the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Coming in hot: Juneau gathers to watch Air Force flyover

The aircraft flew low down the Gastineau Channel.

People across Juneau stopped at noon to watch a pair of Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft perform a flyby of the city to support those on the frontline of the coronavirus.

“I thought it was such a beautiful thing. It was kinda awesome,” said Shauna Oliver, one of the dozens who watched from the Douglas bridge. “The cars were stopping, which I thought was neat. Kinda giving us just a moment to appreciate our health care workers.”

Cars stopped to watch and people cheered as the planes flew overhead at approximately 2,000 feet.

“I thought it was really cool because they were really big and they were coming right over the bridge,” said Peyton Smith, a child observing the spectacle.

The flyovers come on the heels of similar displays in the Lower 48, including flyovers of many cities by the Blue Angels, the Navy’s premier aerial demonstration team. Across Alaska, flyovers have been carried out by Air Force C-17s and F-22s, as well as Coast Guard MH-60s.

“I thought it was beautiful. It was amazing,” said Bailey Larson, an onlooker from the bridge. “It was a way to bring us all together.”

The two aircraft came from the Air Force’s 517th Airlift Squadron and the Alaska Air National Guard’s 144th Airlift Squadron.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

Spectators gathered at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park to watch C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson perform a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, in support of the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Spectators gathered at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park to watch C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson perform a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, in support of the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Spectators gathered on the Douglas Bridge to watch C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson perform a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, in support of the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Spectators gathered on the Douglas Bridge to watch C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson perform a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, in support of the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson performed a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, to support the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson performed a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, to support the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson performed a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, to support the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson performed a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, to support the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson performed a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, to support the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson performed a flyby over Juneau on May 15, 2020, to support the efforts of medical and emergency personnel in the face of the coronavirus. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

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