Dramatic Aerial Footage Shows Air Force One Doing Mount Rushmore Flyover

A screenshot fo the live air-to-air video of AF1 doing the Mt. Rushmore flyover. (Image via The Hill).

Impressive video shows the Presidential VC-25A performing the flyover ahead of South Dakota’s 2020 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration.

On Jul. 3, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Keystone, South Dakota, to visit Mount Rushmore for an event at the monument that kicked off this year’s Independence Day celebrations across the country. Before landing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, the Presidential jet flew over the national landmark, a scene that was filmed live from another aircraft and streamed live.

It’s not the first time aerial footage of an AF1 flyover is streamed live. Earlier this year, on Feb. 16, 2020, a blimp filmed the VC-25A 82-8000 with President Trump aboard as it flew over the Daytona International Speedway ahead of the official start to the NASCAR season.

As we have explained several times here at The Aviationist, “Air Force One” is the radio callsign for any Air Force aircraft with POTUS (President of the US) aboard. During the years the term has been used to refer to the two VC-25As, heavily-modified Boeing 747-200s (serial numbers 82-8000 and 92-9000) that have carried the president all around the world since 1990.

The Air Force One flyover was just one of the military flyovers organized this year as part of the Indepence Day celebrations. Last yeat the aircraft took part in the Fourth of July flypast over the Washington Mall, on Jul. 4, 2019, along with several other combat aircraft. The Blue Angels also carried out a Mount Rushmore flyover on Jul. 3, 2020, while several combat aircraft carried out what the U.S. DoD referred to as a salute to the Great Cities of the American Revolution. The flyovers began in Boston and proceeded to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC.

Some of the activity (especially the tanker support to the aircraft involved in the flyovers) could be also tracked online.

Back to the AF1, the iconic VC-25As will be replaced by two  747-8is that are currently undergoing conversion into VC-25B presidential aircraft in San Antonio, Texas. However, the new Air Force One aircraft should be given a different paint job, that was unveiled by Trump in June 2019, and that loosely reminds the ones used by American airlines in the past, such as U.S. Airways and TWA.

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.