Not to worry Hilo residents, you’re not under attack.
Pedestrians in and around Hilo on Wednesday afternoon stopped and craned their necks skyward around 3:30 p.m. when several F-22 fighter jets passed overhead with a loud roar of their engines.
Ray Robinson, tower manager at Hilo International Airport said the jets were performing training exercises around the Big Island and were using the airport’s runway to perform what’s known as a “low pass.”
“The runway is too short for them to do touch-and-goes,” he said.
The fighter jets are a change from the usual military traffic that uses the airport, but not an anomaly, he said.
“They sometimes do routine practice flights in the area. Sometimes they’ll come over from Honolulu or down from Pohakuloa,” he said.
Robinson said that he usually learns of their approach about five or 10 minutes before they arrive.
“We’re probably going to see more of them this summer because of the upcoming RIMPAC,” he said, referring to the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.