Inside the Navy's flyover farewell for President George H.W. Bush

Navy pilots who participated in the 21 aircraft flyover at George H.W. Bush's funeral in Texas describe what it was like to be part of that historic tribute for the late president.
2:36 | 12/09/18

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Transcript for Inside the Navy's flyover farewell for President George H.W. Bush
And among the many tributes to George H.W. Bush this week was a 21-plane salute over his presidential library. The final resting place for the former naval aviator. A series of four plane formations roared overhead with the final foursome executing the so-called missing man formation. We spoke to three of the Navy pilots who carried out the mgs about what it meant to them. It's a very, very large steel ballet. Once you're flying, the jet becomes an extension of your body. The missing man formation is symbolic of a squadron mate. An air wing mate. Or somebody in the Navy. In this instance, president bush, having left us permanently. It's a flight of four. And the third aircraft in the formation will pull to the sky, symbolic of his departure to the heavens. It's quite dramatic as he disappeared into the clouds. But in terms of a 21-plane flyover, presidential salute, none of us had ever done that. The Navy had never done that either. I pray that your presence will be -- I don't think I got nervous until I got in the airplane. Because it was such a hectic quick 96 hours trying to pull everything today. I had actually looked at what the weather forecast was supposed to be on Thursday. At first, my heart sunk a little bit because I was afraid we wouldn't be able to execute the flyover. ??? Glory hallelujah ??? We had rain and mist and really low clouds. Typically, on a day like that, we probably wouldn't be flying. Once I turned the battery switch on, fired off the auxiliary power units. That nervousness went away. And it was just -- frankly, business as usual. With the one huge, overarching piece, that we were doing this for president bush. I saw the library. I tried to take a peek for the family as I passed over. It happened pretty quick. When I saw the jet pull up and disappear into the clouds, it was kind of like the weight off your shoulders. Okay, guys, we did it. We did it right. You take the minute. Think about what you just did. And that's when it first starts soaking in. Where it changes from anticipation to almost gratitude for having the opportunity to be part of the overall event. Just a beautiful tribute. That's all for us today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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