While the traditional military parade was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, Estonian and allied aircraft flew over Estonian cities. The foggy conditions on Wednesday however made it hard to spot the jets and the flyovers were mostly noticed by listening to the engine noise.
United States F-15 destroyers were prepared in the Lakenheath air force base in England around Wednesday noon, after which they took off to perform a flyover in Estonia. The same was done with German Eurofighter Typhoon jets situated in the Ämari air base in western Estonia, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.
The Estonian Air Force's M28 Skytruck also took flight from Ämari.
Wednesday's fog was bothersome for the air forces' performances from the start. "Aktuaalne kaamera" tried to capture the flyovers from the roof of the radio building in Tallinn, but none of the jets were spotted through the grey weather. The only thing that could be enjoyed was the loud engine noise of overhead jets.
The weather was so unsuitable in fact that Italian jets situated in Lithuania never took off. German and UK destroyers still flew over Estonia however and some better-positioned spectators were able to capture the jets on their mobile devices or cameras.
Cpt. Kalev Piirisild, commander of the Estonian Air Force's 1st squadron, said flying in such conditions requires much skill. "Today, the most experienced pilots are flying as captains, considering the very difficult weather conditions, meaning low clouds and poor visibility," the wing commander said.
Lt. Col. Stefan Auer of the German flight security unit also noted that the weather affected flights. On the other hand, the chance to conduct Wednesday's flights caused some competition between pilots. "The occasion is very different. It is very special for us. It is an honor to participate, to support this and also to support your independence," Auer said.
The "Aktuaalne kaamera" report is attached as video to the article, showing some of the video from Wednesday's flyovers.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste