WRAL, the Bandit Flight Team and the North Carolina Healthcare Association joined forces May 14 for an aerial tribute to thank frontline hospital workers. The Bandit Flight Team will fly over seven area hospitals, carefully coordinated so that hospital workers have the opportunity to see the display.

“We are very grateful for the dedication and sacrifice of our frontline healthcare providers," says Jim Kilpatrick, lead pilot of the Bandit Flight Team. "The flyover is a visual way to say thank you, but as we turn on our smoke system to say thank you, we are not representing just us, we are saying thank you for the entire community.”


The Bandit Flight Team flew first over WRAL Studios on Western Boulevard in Raleigh at 7:02 p.m.

The planes then passed at about 1,000 feet over:

WakeMed Raleigh at 7:04 p.m.

Duke Raleigh at 7:06 p.m.

UNC Rex at 7:09 p.m.

WakeMed Cary at 7:12 p.m.

Duke University Hospital at 7:22 p.m.

UNC Medical Center at 7:27 p.m.

and Duke Regional at 7:32 p.m.



Bandit Flight Team has performed precision formation flights over college football games, NASCAR races and the annual Raleigh Christmas parade.

North Carolina Healthcare Association represents North Carolina’s individual and multi-hospital health systems, and members provide a broad range of services within their facilities and throughout their communities.

“WRAL is proud to partner with the Bandit Flight Team and NCHA to help spotlight the tireless work of frontline healthcare workers," said Joel Davis, vice president and general manager of WRAL/FOX 50. "We hope that both the healthcare teams watching from hospitals and the families watching from home are able to enjoy this moment together.”

The route and timing of the flyover were coordinated with the North Carolina Healthcare Association. Steve Lawler, president and CEO of the organization, said the outreach for healthcare workers is greatly appreciated. “North Carolina’s 200,000 healthcare workers are deeply humbled by the community support they’ve received during this pandemic, from people staying home and social distancing to food deliveries and the upcoming Frontline Flyover," said Lawler. "We’re all in this battle together and we want nothing more than for everyone to be safe, for our healthcare workers to take care of those with COVID-19, and for our communities to fully heal from this pandemic.”