Navy Pilot from Erie Makes Flyover at Heinz Field - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Navy Pilot from Erie Makes Flyover at Heinz Field

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There was some excitement in the sky Sunday before the Pittsburgh Steelers/San Diego Chargers game in Pittsburgh and a U.S. Navy fighter pilot raised in Erie was involved.

The U.S. Navy's VFA-86 Sidewinder performed a flyover prior to kickoff.  It was in honor of the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.   One of the pilots making that flight was Leigh Loesel, a McDowell graduate and a fighter pilot who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy.  His wingman is from Pittsburgh, so the flyover was a homecoming for two Western Pennsylvania guys now stationed in Lemoore, California.

After the flyover, Leigh had the chance to take in the Steelers game with his parents.  Leigh is the son of David and Mickey Loesel of Erie.  Leigh told our Jay Puskar he's been a navy pilot for five years and with the Sidewinders for the last two years. 

He said the flyover was a great honor and a chance to represent the navy and his squadron. "When we finally got the approval and the paperwork filed, it was a great feeling," said Loesel.  "We brought the jets over from California and were able to execute a great flyover. We had good weather for it. I was just blessed to be able to execute a great flyover, to be able to come to Pittsburgh and see Heinz stadium for the first time, it was a great opportunity."



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