SUPER BOWL LVIII
Super Bowl 2024 flyover: times, jet models...
This year the Air Force’s Thunderbird flight demonstration team are in charge of the flyover, and they are in home skies.
This year’s Super Bowl flyover is being performed by the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbird flight demonstration team. They’ll be soaring over Allegiant Stadium, where the Chiefs take on the 49ers on Sunday, just ahead of the 6.30 p.m. ET kick-off. And they won’t have had to travel far: they based out of Nellis Air Force Base in North Las Vegas, which is a 20-minute drive from where Chiefs take on the 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.
Super Bowl LVIII flyover details
The Thunderbirds currently fly the General Dynamics F-16C ‘Viper’, which has a top speed of 1,345 mph, though it won’t be doing that, with supersonic flight (above around 750 mph) banned over land in the U.S.
The F-16 is a all-weather multirole aircraft, and while it’s no longer purchased by the U.S. Air Force it is sold for export - a new one of the latest variants will cost you around $25 to $30 million, though improvements and add-ons can take that to north of $60 million.
There will be six jets in Sunday’s flyover, in the standard Thunderbird formation. They fly a classic four-plane diamond, accompanied by two solo planes.
Sunday’s flight crew
Here are six planes flying over Allegiant Stadium:
No 1: Leading the diamond, flown by the team’s commander who will be Lt. Col. Nathan “Sheik” Malafa.
No 2: Diamond left wing, flown by Maj. Zachary “Zeke” Taylor.
No 3: Diamond right wing, flown by Maj. Tyler “Slasher” Clark.
No 4: Bottom of the diamond, in the slot, flown by Maj. Jake “Primo” Impellizerri.
No 5: Lead solo, flown by Maj. Eric “Miami” Tise.
No 6: Opposing solo, flown by Maj. Jeff “Simmer” Downey.
When is the flyover for Super Bowl 2024?
Super Bowl LVIII takes place on Sunday, February 11, 2024. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. ET, 3:30 p.m. PT. The Super Bowl flyover is timed to take place just at the end of the national anthem, right before the game starts.
“The trickiest part is getting the timing just right,” Lt. Col. Eric Gorney told CBS News. “The first thing to remember is we’re going 400 mph. So we can’t just stop and hover… And the other tricky thing is that we have committed to the flyover. We have started flying in about a minute prior to the national anthem even starting.”
The history of the Super Bowl flyover
Super Bowl flyovers have been a staple of the pre-game ceremonies for the big show, dating back to the very first one. The tradition of a military flyover during the national anthem at the Super Bowl began in Super Bowl V in 1971, where four F-4 Phantoms from the US Air Force performed a flyover at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. Since then, the flyover has become a staple of the Super Bowl, with different branches of the military taking part in the flyover each year.
Over the years, a variety of aircraft have been used, including F-16 Fighting Falcons, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, and B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, among others. The flyover is a nod to the military and serves as a tribute to the men and women in uniform who protect our country.
Last year saw history made as the US Navy flyover was piloted by an all-female team, celebrating 50 years of women aviators in the Navy.
Other jets around Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend
In addition to the flyover, the skies over Nevada are expected to be pretty busy. Around 1,000 private planes are expected at Las Vegas area airports this weekend. In last year’s game in Glendale, Arizona, there were 562 business plane arrivals at airports for the occasion. The 2022 event in Los Angeles saw 752 arrivals, as per the business aviation tracker WingX.
The Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf Sin City tournament at Las Vegas Country Club - set to finish on Saturday - will only add to the congestion in the run-up to the Super Bowl.
Benjamin Leffel, an assistant professor of public policy sustainability at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas told The New York Times: “The emissions levels of a mega-event like this from air traffic, and the energy use is at least double in a day than it would be on average.”
A spokesperson for WingX said: “2023 set the record in terms of total outbound departures following a Super Bowl. So with it happening in Las Vegas coming, which is already a top bizjet hub, we would expect a very large post-event bizjet activity after this weekend.
“We’re seeing a fairly buoyant US demand for private jets in 2024. It’s not at the same highs we saw 24 months ago, but still up 10 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.”
Private jets in Vegas
The US Federal Aviation Authority has confirmed that it expects 3,500 additional take-offs and landings from February 7 to February 12, with 500 private jets in local airports in the area. In response to the influx of private planes, the FAA has improved measures to ensure the safety of the airspace for those travelling in and out. The FAA said: “General aviation pilots flying near Las Vegas from Feb. 7-12, 2024, must be aware of temporary flight restrictions, follow special air traffic procedures and comply with additional operational requirements that will be in effect for Super Bowl LVIII.”