Patrouille de France soars over the Statue of Liberty
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
On Saturday, 25 March, France’s Patrouille de France aerial demonstration team flew over the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
The eight Alpha Jets flew in tight military formation across New York Harbor, and over New York City, with a trail of red, white and blue display smoke. The jets were accompanied by an A400 airbus and two additional Alpha jets which are supporting their 2017 North American tour.
The Patrouille de France (PAF) jets will be seen in Kansas City on April 6th, flying over the national commemoration of the U.S. entry into World War I, presented by the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission at the National World War I Museum and Memorial..
Saturday’s flyover - and the Patrouille de France’s North American tour - serve as a specific thank-you from France for America’s early aviators, who came to France’s help during the World War I.
The Patrouille de France represents all French Air Force air crew, whether engaged in France on missions to protect and deter or taking part in overseas operations to combat terrorism, to keep and maintain peace or on relief operations to aid people in emergency situations.
All the PAF’s nine pilots and thirty-seven mechanics have been members of French Air Force fighter squadrons, and will return to service after their time with the Patrouille de France.
The Patrouille de France tour of North America includes over twenty stops. This is the first appearance by the Patrouille de France in the United States in 30 years.