MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A coastal flyover honoring America’s military on July 4th will continue as scheduled Saturday, but will not include F-16′s from Shaw Air Force Base.
The base withdrew from the event after one of its pilots was killed earlier this week in a crash on the base. That pilot was later identified as 1st Lt. David Schmitz.
McEntire Joint National Guard Base will provide two F-16′s for Saturday’s flight. According to organizers, the 169th Fighter Wing expressed interest in filling the role.
“Their desire to fly for Shaw is the absolute representation of having each other’s back,” organizers said in a statement.
Officials also said C-17 pilot Capt. Dennis Conner will also dedicate his flight to Schmitz. He’ll be flying a flag that will be sent to Schmitz’s widow after the flight.
Conner will also fly his plane above Lakes Moultrie, Marion, Murray and Hartwell between 11 a.m. and noon in tribute.
The F-16′s will begin their route along the coast from Cherry Grove at 1 p.m., while the C-17′s will follow shortly after. Each will arrive in Myrtle Beach within five minutes.
The Salute from the Shore is free and open to the public and will feature military planes along with vintage, civilian-owned aircraft. The route stretches all the way down the South Carolina coast, and begins around 40 miles north of Myrtle Beach.
You can view the schedule below: