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California Aeronautical University conducted flyover in Bakersfield Thursday to thank essential workers


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET)  — The California Aeronautical University conducted a flyover in Bakersfield on Thursday. 

The event took place between noon and 12:30 p.m. Five aircraft flew in formation over several neighborhoods, shopping centers and major medical facilities in town. The formation flight was led by the Condor Squadron, a professional formation flying team made up of four WWII-era T-6 trainers. 

Directly behind them was be Vicky Benzing in her bright red Stearman biplane, also a WWII-era trainer. Benzing is a professional airshow performer sponsored by the CAU.

The aircraft flew low enough to be highly visible while still adhering to all FAA regulations, the university said. Several of the aircraft had smoke trails to increase their visibility.

The flyover is meant to show thanks and solidarity as well as recognize the many people who have worked tirelessly to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAU said. 

“We are looking forward to showing the community gratitude for all they do and acknowledging everyone impacted,” said Matthew Johnston, president of the university. “It has not been easy for most during this pandemic and it is important that we all do what we can to support one another. Hopefully everyone that can, will look to the sky on April 30 and be reminded of the important things in life.”

Viewers were encouraged to help thank essential workers by waving flags, clapping or making signs. 

For more information about California Aeronautical University, visit

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