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Picture of the Day: The Calypso Pass


two usaf thunderbird f16 mirror image reflection acrobat trick

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Shapiro

Two U.S. Air Force Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcons execute a precision acrobat technique known as a Calypso Pass for a crowd March 23, 2014, at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. The Thunderbirds performed for more than 185,000 during the MacDill AFB presents Tampa Bay AirFest 2014.

The Calypso Pass is when two planes flying at high-speed perform a mirror image. Interestingly, the Guinness World Record for closest Calypso Pass belongs to Major Scottie Zamzow and Major Brian Farrar of the 2005 Thunderbirds. They were a mere 18 inches (45 cm) apart! The feat was accomplished on 12-13 November 2005 at the Aviation Nation Air Show in Nellis, Las Vegas. [source]

The Thunderbirds are the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force (USAF). The Thunderbirds are assigned to the 57th Wing and are based at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Officers serve a two-year assignment with the squadron, while enlisted personnel serve three to four years. As the squadron performs no more than 88 air demonstrations each year, replacements must be trained for about half of the team each year, in order to provide a constant mix of experience. [source]

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