Flight Route on May 16 to Include Multiple Towns Throughout the Sandhills Region
PINEHURST, NC (May 11, 2020) – The Bandit Flight Team, a North Carolina-based group of formation pilots, will perform a flyover of multiple towns in Moore, Richmond, Hoke and Lee counties on Saturday, May 16th to honor area healthcare and emergency services workers. The flyover will start over the Sanford area at 11:45am, then proceed to Pinehurst, Rockingham and conclude over Raeford. The tribute flight was organized by the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the organizers of the annual Festival D’Avion.
“Like the many tribute flights we have seen across the country and in North Carolina, we wanted to do something similar for healthcare and emergency services workers, and everyone else on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen CVB. “If people go outside to see the flyover, we simply ask people have fun, take pictures and videos, but do so while social distancing.”
The flyover will start in Sanford as the formation passes over Central Carolina Hospital at 11:45am. From there, the Bandit Flight Team arrives over First Health Moore Regional Pinehurst at 12:00pm, then over the Pinehurst Town Hall, and the police and fire departments before proceeding over the Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst Resort and Pinehurst Country Club. The formation concludes the flyovers over First Health Regional Health facilities in Richmond County (Rockingham) and Hoke County (Raeford).
Here are the approximate flyover times:
11:45am: Central Carolina Hospital Sanford
12:00pm: First Health Moore Regional Pinehurst
12:01pm: Pinehurst Police and Fire Departments/Pinehurst Resort
12:12pm: First Health Moore Regional Hospital Rockingham
12:30pm: First Health Moore Regional Hospital Hoke County
The Bandit Flight team flies vintage aircraft to preserve the military Warbird heritage, and as an opportunity to salute our returning war veterans. Typically, a maximum of six planes fly in demonstration formations.
The Festival D’Avion is owned and operated by Peter Stilwell with Tarheel Communications Solutions and Dave Droschak with Droschak Communications. The Festival D’Avion Air Show was postponed in April and has been rescheduled for October 2-3, 2020 and will be held at the Moore County Airport.
The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2018, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $520 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.
The Festival D’Avion
The Festival D’Avion is a celebration of Freedom and Flight and honors the men and women that have served in the armed forces. The 1½ day event, hosted at the Moore County Airport, includes a celebration concert featuring the Ultimate Eagles Tribute Band, Runway 5K race/walk, special aircraft exhibits, scheduled aircraft fly-overs, Warbird displays, precision jump team exhibitions, programmed entertainment and a special scheduled fly-out of all participating aircraft. The five branches of the military have approved participation for the Festival D’Avion and will provide a variety of static aircraft and military equipment displays. Classic cars and trucks will also be displayed during the event. A variety of food and beverage options will be available from area and regional food trucks, craft beer breweries, North Carolina wineries and vendors.