Historic Navy Flyover Coming to San Diego Bay

Contact: Barbara Moreno (619) 686-6216 - Published on .

20110203-01The centennial anniversary of Naval aviation will be celebrated over the Port of San Diego, and the public is invited to come to the tidelands to take part in history.

The "Parade of Flight: the Centennial of Naval Aviation," will feature one of the Navy's largest flyovers on Saturday, Feb. 12, starting at 1 p.m. More than 250 U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft, spanning from pre-World War II to the Blue Angels, will fly over the entire length of the bay from south to north. The event also features a jump by the Navy parachute team.

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The parade is the first of its kind since July 1932, when 420 aircraft flew over San Diego.

"This promises to be something that the entire San Diego region will not soon forget," said Capt. Tim Wilson, director, Centennial of Naval Aviation Task Force.

The civilian-piloted vintage aircraft will take off from Brown Field on Otay Mesa, and the military-owned aircraft will take off from Naval Air Station North Island, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. After takeoff, all aircraft will proceed to the south end of San Diego Bay.

Free public viewing is available throughout San Diego Bay at the following Port of San Diego parks:

"The Port of San Diego shares an important partnership with the U.S. Navy, being one of 17 strategic ports," said Chairman Scott Peters. "As homeport to the U.S. Navy's Third Fleet, we are inviting the public to come down to the tidelands and take part in this celebration over the skies of San Diego Bay."

Also on Saturday, Feb. 12, beginning at 9 a.m., a public open house will be held at Naval Air Station North Island. Ships including the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier will be open to the public, as well as more than 75 static aircraft displays, a classic car show, musical entertainment and more.

The event organizers estimate attendance in the tens of thousands to this event. The gates at NASNI will open to the public at 8 a.m. Heavy traffic is anticipated for the San Diego - Coronado Bay Bridge and on the streets of Coronado for this event.

Note: Parking will likely be limited on Shelter Island and Harbor Island, as well as in the downtown Embarcadero area. Visitors to the Embarcadero are encouraged to take public transportation. The San Diego Trolley stops at Broadway and Pacific Highway, a block from the Embarcadero.

San Diego is considered the birthplace of Naval aviation. On Feb. 17, 1911, aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss landed his "hydroaeroplane" on the cruiser USS Pennsylvania, which was anchored in San Diego Bay. This historic landing inspired the secretary of the Navy to invest in the A-1 Triad, Navy's first aircraft.

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