Florida National Guard pilot discusses Orlando flyover to salute healthcare workers

A pilot from the Florida National Guard talked to FOX 35 News about Wednesday's flyover to thank first responders and healthcare workers.

The salute in the sky for the frontline workers was conducted late morning and included locations such as Apopka, Orlando, and Clermont. 

"It was a surreal experience to see everyone down there to show their support of us showing support to first responders and medical personal," said Capt. Jeremy French.

Healthcare workers at Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) cheered with excitement as the F-15s flew over the hospital.

"As a medical professional sometimes we think people don’t support us. So it was real a good thank you at a time when it’s stressful," said Dr. Charles Hunley, a pulmonologist at ORMC.

The Florida National Guard flew over nine different sites in Orange County, including the Convention Center and Camping World Stadium, and also in Lake County over South Lake Hospital. At one of the sites, pilots went around a second time, giving frontline workers a special treat.

"We flew over one of the sites and had to go 180 degrees around to go to the next site," Capt. French explained.  

Dr. Hunley said it means a lot to those on the frontline, especially since many of them can’t be with their families during the pandemic.

"It gives them an extra oomph to keep doing what they’re doing," he added.

"From the 125th Fighter Wing, we’d just like to express our sincere thanks for all the hard work that everyone is doing," Capt. French said, "working around the clock to keep safe, save lives and help us through this COVID crisis."