Southern Heritage Air Foundation kicks off Mississippi State football season with pregame flyover

Published 1:16 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023

College football season returned this past weekend, and the Tallulah-based Southern Heritage Air Foundation participated in a big way.

Prior to kickoff at the Mississippi State University game versus Southeastern Louisiana University, four SHAF pilots conducted a patriotic flyover in classic aircraft. The pilots were Vicksburg’s own Dan Fordice, Daniel Mosley of Clinton, Jody Carson of Flowood and Karl Holcomb of Flora.

SHAF President Patty Mekus said Tuesday she couldn’t be prouder of the pilots and their performance, and she is excited for the organization to return to its regularly scheduled flyovers.

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“We used to do flyovers pretty often prior to (the COVID-19 pandemic),” Mekus said. “Last year, we did a couple, and this year we’re adding even more to the schedule.”

Mekus said the organization was contacted by MSU Gameday Experience and given the choice between a couple of home games to conduct a flyover, and the date that worked best for all parties was the very first game of the season.

The SHAF has 12 pilots in its pool that it can call on in the event of a flyover. In addition to football games and other recreational events, the team also conducts flyovers for funerals of veterans upon request.

“We were super excited because Mississippi State gave us first dibs on picking a date for the home games this year,” Mekus said.

The flyover isn’t the only exciting thing happening at SHAF, she added. The Warbird Formation Clinic will return to Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport from Oct. 11 through 14. The clinic will coincide with the Rise Above traveling exhibit, which features history and artifacts from the Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). The Rise Above exhibit will be on display at SHAF from Oct. 11 through 15.

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