AF Thunderbirds due here today

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Four F-16s assigned to the Thunderbirds, the Air Force's air demonstration squadron, fly off the wing of a KC-135 before receiving fuel en route to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., May 18, 2017. - AIR FORCE PHOTO BY 2ND LT. CALEB WANZER
  • Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Caleb Wanzer
  • Four F-16s assigned to the Thunderbirds, the Air Force's air demonstration squadron, fly off the wing of a KC-135 before receiving fuel en route to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., May 18, 2017.

One of the quirky benefits of living in Colorado Springs is the annual spectacle available to anyone who can look up.

It's the Air Force Thunderbirds flying team, who swoop in for the Air Force Academy's graduation. As usual, they'll arrive early and take to the skies for some practice runs.

Here's the academy's news release about this year's appearance. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for clear skies the next few days.

The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds, will perform May 24 at the end of the Air Force Academy Class of 2017 Graduation Ceremony.

They will practice their full performance May 23, 11 a.m. to noon. The practice will be centered over the Academy’s Falcon Stadium, and is subject to weather cancellation.

The majority of the Thunderbirds aircraft will arrive May 22 and fly over the Academy around 10 a.m. that day as part of their arrival to Colorado Springs. There will be no impact to traffic patterns.

The Thunderbirds’ graduation day performance start time will depend on timing with the end-of-ceremony hat toss, but is expected to take place at approximately 12:30 p.m. The performance will last approximately 30 minutes.

For the safety of the general public, certain roads will be closed on base during the practice and graduation day performances. These closures are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure the performance area is free of all personnel.

The general public is reminded not to stop along Interstate 25 to watch the performances.

For more information about the Thunderbirds, visit www.afthunderbirds.com. For information about the Academy’s graduation, go to www.usafa.edu/about/traditions/graduation/ 

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