By Sam Atkins
Published in News on June 9, 2004 2:07 PM
WASHINGTON -- F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base were to perform a 21-plane flyover between 6 and 7 p.m. today in honor of former President Ronald Reagan as part of his funeral rites.
The expected route was from south to north up Washington's 4th Street S.W., crossing the National Mall and Constitution Avenue at 1,000 feet, according to an Air Force announcement.
A fighter aircraft was to lead five four-ship formations spaced at 10-second intervals. The final formation was to perform the missing-man maneuver as the planes crossed Constitution Avenue. In a missing-man maneuver, a wingman breaks formation, rocketing skyward, leaving a hole in the formation, in honor of and signifying the loss of a comrade.
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, able to fight at low altitude day or night in inclement weather. Those at Seymour Johnson belong to the Air Force's 4th Fighter Wing.
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