NewsLocal NewsFlathead County


U.S. Air Force fighter jets take to the skies over Bigfork

Bigfork Military Jet Flyover
Posted at 3:56 PM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-10 09:10:53-04

BIGFORK - You've seen it at Griz games and the Super Bowl -- a military flyover before kickoff.

But it's not as common on the high school level, which is why it was such a monumental day in Bigfork.

The U.S. Air Force took to the skies to help the Vikings and Valkryies round out their homecoming week; it was an event that has been years in the making.

“Who doesn't love a flyover when your homecoming team spirit day is red, white, and blue?" Asked flyover organizer Ryan Nelson.

Two U.S. Air Force fighter jets flew over Bigfork's football field on Friday marking the first flyover in over a decade for a high school event. The monumental task took four years to arrange, but Nelson — who lives in Bigfork — wasn’t going to give up on making this event possible.

“Persistence, persistence, you know, Bigfork is a great community, great school, great kids. You can't do enough to support a place like this," Nelson said. "And so, I just thought this would be one heck of a way to kick off homecoming,” he continued.

All of Bigfork’s students gathered at the field to watch the historic flight and the fighter pilots were able to radio in over the loudspeakers of the stadium for all the kids to hear.

"But to be honest with you, the pilots that flew this, I think they were the most excited ones,” Nelson said.

There are many hoops to jump through when trying to make an event like this happen. Including getting the Pentagon to sign off on the flight. But it was worth it for the organizers to show the kids just how important they are.

“I got to believe it just gives them a little boost. And again, they know they're cared for, I really do believe that. But I think when you see those jets fly over, you're like, 'oh, wow. Somebody put in some work for us',” said Bigfork School District Activities Director Matt Porrovecchio.

Bigfork’s 2022 homecoming will make history because of this flight.

“You know, Bigfork’s a wonderful spot to live and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world. And so if I could help a little bit here and there then that's what I’ll always try to do for this town,” Nelson concluded.