After two years of highly-acclaimed performances, the Breitling Jet Team’s first-ever American Tour recently concluded at the inaugural Breitling Huntington Beach Air show in Southern California. Known for their precision flying and breathtaking performances, the team performed from coast to coast with over 70 performances at 30 different air shows in the U.S. and Canada over the two-year tour. Upon landing from their last performance in Huntington Beach, the Breitling Jet Team was honored to receive a Celebratory Water Salute from local fire trucks.
As part of The Breitling Jet Team American Tour, the pilots had the privilege of performing at the Warriors Over the Wasatch Airshow at Hill Air Force Base. During the show, they flew over some of the great landmarks in Utah including the Great Salt Lake and Bonneville Salt Flats.
Crossing North America to perform at some of the world’s best air shows, the Breitling Jet Team was able to fly over some very picturesque areas like Mount Hood and Painted Hills in Oregon, the Badlands, Mount Baker and Devils Tower National Monument.
Breitling Jet Team Leader Jacques Bothelin said, “there are no words to describe the pleasure we had flying over these beautiful parts of the United States. The country itself is so stunning and so big, the different landscapes and variety of terrain is really incredible.”
For the second year in a row, the Breitling Jet Team was in Toronto for the Canadian International Air Show. Just like in 2015, the Canadian crowds were incredible. “It was a really fantastic weekend. To fly over Lake Ontario for Canadian audiences was amazing,” said Jacques Bothelin, Breitling Jet Team Leader.
On Thursday afternoon, prior to the air show, spectators in Toronto enjoyed a thrilling display by the Breitling Jet Team along with the Canadian National Display Teams: the Snowbirds and a CF-18 Hornet.
There were a total of 17 jets in the Canadian sky, the seven L39 Albatros Jets, the eight CT-114 Tutor planes of the Snowbirds and the powerful CF-18 Hornet, plus the chase plane capturing great pictures of the various formations.
During the second year of their American Tour, the Breitling Jet Team shared some great moments in the sky and very rare opportunities to fly with some very well-known aircraft.
In Detroit, the team flew over downtown and the Detroit River in close formation with the Flying Fortress B-17 called "Yankee Lady.” During the Thunder over Michigan Air Show, the team also flew in close formation with a MiG-17, the only one of its kind flying in America. Before the Oregon International Air Show in Hillsboro, the pilots of the Breitling Jet Team flew with another iconic airplane, the powerful F-15 Air National Guard Screaming Eagle.
Breitling Jet Team Pilot #4, Ponpon who loves warbirds, said, “it was like a dream to fly with the B-17 and MiG-17.” All pilots were very excited to see this plane that had previously only been seen on the ground, in movies or in pictures.
For the second and last year of the Breitling Jet Team’s inaugural American Tour, New York City was the place for some outstanding and memorable events. The pilots flew in formation over the Manhattan skyline and Central Park. They also celebrated the grand opening of the newly-relocated Flagship Breitling Boutique New York alongside other Breitling Ambassadors including seasoned pilot and aviation aficionado, John Travolta; former astronaut and retired U.S. Navy Captain, Mark Kelly; retired U.S. Navy Captain and astronaut who recently completed a year-long mission in space, Scott Kelly and four-time Stanley Cup Champion and Hockey Hall of Fame member, Wayne Gretzky.
In addition to flying Memorial Day Weekend at the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, New York, the team also attended a special event celebrating New York’s Fleet Week. Simultaneously, one of the Breitling Jet Team’s L-39C Albatros aircraft was displayed on the flight deck of the famed Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The pilots visited the aircraft together with Scott Kelly on a special morning to greet fans.
The Breitling Jet Team began the second and last year of their inaugural American Tour in April, 2016 in Florida. The pilots of the Breitling Jet Team flew over the skylines and beaches of Miami and Fort Lauderdale and participated at the Melbourne Air & Space Show. Jacques Bothelin, the Breitling Jet Team Leader, commented “the weather was fantastic and allowed for some really great sunshine to capture some great photographs of the team in the Florida skies.”