F/A-18 Super Hornet training flights underway over Tampa Bay

MacDill Air Force Base officials say folks will see, but mostly hear, the roar of F/A-18 Super Hornets, which are slightly bigger than the ones flown by the Blue Angels, weekdays through October 19.

Naval Flight Officer Cdr. Wrenn Landers said they’re performing training flights with the next round of fleet aviators.

Cdr. Landers accompanied 18 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.

They’re flying missions over Avon Park. Similar training was done with A-10 Warthogs in 2018.

"There's some great training areas out here that the state of Florida has, so we go out to both Avon and Pine Castle. We usually fly out there for an hour, hour and a half, and then head on back," Landers explained. "We take them through about a nine-month syllabus, and that's from start to finish, and what they'll ultimately do is support an operational squadron in the fleet off a United States aircraft carrier."

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The students will be paired with one of the squadron's 30 instructors in the single and two-seater aircraft.

As for the noise, there's not much that can be done about it, but Landers said the team is grateful the community has been so welcoming.

"It's always great to come down here. There's tons of support. We're going to do everything we can not to interfere from a noise standpoint,” he laughed. “We've got procedures in place to do that and adhere to noise abatement, but I just want everyone to know, thank you for having us."