Beaufort News

Beach-goers salute troops; accounts differ on why planes turned around

Sheila Tindall, front, waves her American flag with others gathered Monday on Fripp Island as four Air Force F-16 Vipers fly overhead during the second annual Salute from the Shore. Videos taken of the fly-over along the South Carolina coast will be sent to troops overseas. Spectators saw the jets fly to the north of Hilton Head Island and then bank out to sea. The Salute organization posted a message on its Facebook page apologizing to beach-goers on southern Hilton Head who didn't see the planes.
Sheila Tindall, front, waves her American flag with others gathered Monday on Fripp Island as four Air Force F-16 Vipers fly overhead during the second annual Salute from the Shore. Videos taken of the fly-over along the South Carolina coast will be sent to troops overseas. Spectators saw the jets fly to the north of Hilton Head Island and then bank out to sea. The Salute organization posted a message on its Facebook page apologizing to beach-goers on southern Hilton Head who didn't see the planes. SARAH WELLIVER/The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette

    Four Air Force F-16 Vipers flew down the South Carolina coast on Independence Day during the second annual Salute from the Shore, but they had to turn back at Hilton Head Island because of air traffic, according to the Salute organization.

    Videos taken of spectators waving flags and holding flags during the fly-over that started at the North Carolina border will be sent to troops overseas.

    The jets were scheduled to fly over Hilton Head, where people had also been out on the beaches prepared to salute the troops. The Salute organization posted a message on its Facebook page apologizing to beach-goers on Hilton Head who didn't see the planes.

    "We share everyone's disappointment from today and regret that Hilton Head wasn't able to participate this year," said an email Monday to The Island Packet from John Michael Otis Jr. of Salute from the Shore. "We actually just heard from the commander of the fighter wing at Shaw Air Force Base, and he told us that the air traffic over Hilton Head prevented his planes from safely executing the fly-over there. I am truly sorry that Hilton Head was left out of the fly-over, but please know that we will make every effort to successfully cover the entire coast next year."

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