Rare show of force flies in formation over San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Rare show of force flies in formation over San Diego

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - It's a rare spectacle that had people in the North County looking up in the sky. Two dozen Marine helicopters flew in formation Tuesday from Camp Pendleton to Miramar.

The aircraft crossed over the North County in three waves over three hours, roaring south along Interstate 15 to the skies over Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, then looping back for the flight back north to home base.

"Part of it was a training flight, but most of it was a flight designed to showcase what we do here," Maj. Rodney Dean said.

The copters left from a Camp Pendleton airfield near Fallbrook and flew to the Miramar area over Escondido, Rancho Bernardo and the northern part of San Diego.

"The Marines do a lot of hard work every day getting the aircraft ready to fly, doing the training we need to do. So really what we wanted to do was showcase the scope of their effort," Maj. Dean said.

Besides flight leadership skills, the exercise conducted at about 2,000 feet gives Marine pilots information about aircraft behavior in large formation. Total time for the operation was about three hours.

During their flight, speeds averaged about 115 miles per hour, even in close proximity with colleagues.

"Being the 22nd or 21st guy at the tail end of that flight, there are a lot of learning aspects of what formation flight can really do, as well as for the guys up front who are really trying to lead and gain some flight experience," Maj. Dean said.

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