Super Bowl Flyover for 2023 Will Be Extra Special — Here's Why
As is customary before the Super Bowl, the U.S. Navy will fly over the event ahead of kickoff between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. But for 2023, the moment will be a bit more special than in prior years.
According to CBS News, fans at State Farm Stadium in Arizona will be witness to a bit of history as seven women will pilot the jets performing the flyover. This marks 50 years since women were allowed to become U.S. Navy pilots.
The moment will come immediately after the National Anthem ends, with Lt. Peggy Dente leading the squad performing the annual event, her first according to the outlet. She spoke to CBS News about the honor.
"I think it'd be crazy if you weren't a little bit nervous, but a little bit of nerves keeps you honest, keeps you humble and keeps you focused on the mission," Dente told CBS News. "It's not lost on me how special it is that I get to do what I'm doing today because they did it first."
The U.S. Navy first allowed women to enter its flight school back in 1973. Eight women entered the training at the time, with six going on to earn their wings. A year after graduation, Rosemary Mariner was the first woman to be assigned to pilot a U.S. Navy fighter plane. As CBS News adds, around 15 percent of naval aviators are women today.
The NFL and several hall-of-fame players visited the pilots and support teams earlier this week to thank the pilots for their service and to mark the historic moment. "It's definitely a huge honor to be asked to do this and to celebrate those women that have paved this way for all of us," Lt. Arielle Ash added.
"I think it's a message not just to young girls, but to young people that they can do whatever they set their mind to," Dente added. "And if they want to be a jet pilot, that is well within possibility for them."