Aviation Department Coordinator Flies In Memorial Day Tribute

A group of World War II-era aircraft flew over Southern California on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, in honor of those who gave their lives in service of the United States. The aircraft were photographed from Newport Coast, CA while in transit between John Wayne Airport and Pacific Hills Cemetery. Note: Images from the EOS 1Ds are by Jacob Posner.

Capt. Ed Valdez, Cypress College’s aviation instructor, participated in a well-publicized Memorial Day tribute. He was among the aviators aboard the “Flabob Express,” a World War II-era DC-3 that flew in the lead group.

In all, about 14 vintage aircraft flew as the “D-Day Express” across Southern California on Monday, May 25, crossing above landmarks in San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles counties.

Valdez is aboard the light-colored plane in this group of three Douglas DC-3 aircraft.
Valdez is aboard the light-colored plane in this group of three Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

Valdez is the department coordinator for Cypress College’s Aviation & Travel Careers Department , as well as an instructor with the Commercial Pilot Program.

Ed Valdez flies the DC-3 "Flabob Expres.s"
Valdez’s view from the Douglas DC-3 “Flabob Express.”

In addition to teaching at Cypress, Valdez flies for United Airlines on the Boeing 757 and 767; he occasionally flies private Gulfstream G3 aircraft on a contract basis as well.

Recently, he was invited to fly the Flabob Express (a Douglas DC-3) as a volunteer pilot, and is currently in training for the aircraft.