Bandit Flight Team to do First Ever Flyover at NightBEAT
The NightBEAT pre-show, beginning at 6:30 pm this Sunday at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, has everything a fan could imagine, including performances by The Voice Finalist Katie Basden, The Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the North Carolina Brass Band and a first-of-its kind Benefit Comedy Show.
But we have one more event to make NightBEAT 2016 THE drum corps event of the season. A flyover featuring The Bandit Flight Team of Raleigh, NC.
Just as the National Anthem is being performed by the North Carolina Brass Band, a team of military Warbird aircraft will fly in formation over BB&T Field as the excitement level builds for the first corps to step off.
Led by Flight Lead Jim Kilpatrick, The Bandit Flight Team performs at various events including all the NC State football games, NASCAR events at The Charlotte Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Dover Speedway, The Durham Bulls, the Raleigh Christmas Parade and Rally for the Cure. We are available for national anthem flyovers, charity events, Missing Man Formation for military ceremonies, as well as grand openings, VIP or corporate events.
The Bandit Flight Team is a group of highly-trained, experienced pilots that combine their love of flying with an appreciation for vintage military aircraft. The Bandits are based in the Raleigh, NC area and fly their aircraft to preserve the military Warbird heritage and as an opportunity to salute our returning war veterans.
In an article written last year as the team was readying for a flyover at the STP 500 NASCAR Race in Martinsville, lead pilot Jim Kilpatrick talked about the flight team and preparations for an event like this. The aircraft they use are slower than the military jets people are typically used to.
“We are slower so they will see us longer, there are more airplanes and we’ll stay on target a little bit longer,” said Kilpatrick. “The crowd really likes that. We have smoke systems on the airplane, so you’ll see smoke come out. It’s a nice mix of smoke and noise that makes for a good show.”
Kilpatrick, a former Air Force pilot, says the point of emphasis for his team is to time their entrance with the ending of the national anthem.
“It’s a punctuation to the national anthem. At the end there just needs to be something there to get you standing up and applauding, and a fly-over does that.”
“When they say, ‘home of the brave,’ and you look up, we’re right there,” said Kilpatrick. “It’s great because the people on the ground are changing their time, and we’re able to change while maneuvering with all these airplanes flying all around. When you coordinate all of that and have it work out, yeah, that’s a lot of fun.”