Thunderbirds return for 10th straight flyover of Daytona 500

Thunderbirds
Photo by Dustin Long
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The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be back to perform the flyover of the Daytona 500, Daytona International Speedway announced Tuesday.

It will mark the 10th straight year the Thunderbirds have done the flyover before the “Great American Race” and the 11th time overall.

Officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the group will showcase its choreography by flying their signature “Delta” formation over the track prior to the Feb. 16 race.

The flight team is made up of:

– Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbird No. 1, Thunderbird commander and lead pilot

– Maj. Trevor Aldridge, Thunderbird No. 2, Left Wing pilot

– Capt. Michael Brewer, Thunderbird No. 3, Right Wing pilot

– Capt. Zane Taylor, Thunderbird No. 4, Slot Pilot

– Maj. Michelle Curran, Thunderbird No. 5, Lead Solo

– Capt. Kyle Oliver, Thunderbird No. 6, Opposing Solo

Three of the members of the team have Florida ties. Both Caldwell and Taylor are natives of Orlando and Brewer is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which is next door to Daytona International Speedway.