A Marine Corps pilot will be in the cockpit of one of four aircraft in the military flyover at Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.
Maj. Adam Wellington, 37, will be soaring over Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, in an F-35B Lightning II, the Corps’ new vertical takeoff fighter jet, as the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs kick off the game.
Wellington is a member of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, out of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.
“I’m very excited to participate in the flyover. I’m a big football fan and getting to take part in this event is amazing,” Wellington said over email. “This is the biggest sporting event of the year.”
“Whether you like football or not, there is something for you during the Super Bowl,” Wellington added.
A native of Sac City, Iowa, and a University of Iowa graduate, Wellington previously flew an F-18 Hornet in multiple deployments to the Middle East and Japan, according to Radio Iowa.
As for the flyover for the year’s most important football game, Wellington says the pilots approach it as they would any other mission.
“We don’t do anything during a flyover we don’t normally do during everyday flight operations," Wellington said. “Flying formation and being somewhere at a specific time are skills we train every day.”
The Marine Corps pilot, who said he’s a Chicago Bears fan, said he will “probably be” cheering on the Chiefs on Sunday.
The pilots intend to catch the halftime show, which features Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, as well as the second half of the game, according to Radio Iowa.
Super Bowl LIV will air on Fox at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time on Feb. 2, 2020.
The Des Moines Register first reported this story.
Dylan Gresik is a reporting intern for Military Times through Northwestern University's Journalism Residency program.