An awesome display of aircraft flying in formation over the Lynchburg home of a former Tuskegee airman was supposed to be part of a birthday celebration. Instead, the flyover took place as a memorial, on what would have been Alfred Farrar’s 100th birthday Saturday.
Farrar died just days before the milestone, but instead of cancelling the event, pilots performed a memorial tribute.
"Standing in the briefing room and talking you could definitely tell the air was much more somber and you couldn't help but get choked up a little bit when we were talking about Alfred and his legacy," Kyle McDaniel, one of the pilots who participated, said.
Farrar was among the last living Tuskegee Airmen, an elite group of Black military pilots who served during World War II. After the war, Farrar worked in the Federal Aviation Administration for decades.
The flyover involved about 20 pilots and other volunteers.
"Everybody was all hands on deck to commemorate Mr. Farrar and his life, and it was special and spectacular," McDaniel said.
At the end of the flyover, some of the pilots did a missing man formation in Farrar’s memory.
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"I'll never forget it, my first time flying in formation, and it was just an unbelievable experience," McDaniel said.
Farrar's family watched from home, soaking up the display from the ground while his memory flew high.