CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Natives played two roles in the prelude to Super Bowl 55.
Suzie Dorner, a Revere alum and COVID-19 ICU Nurse Manager at Tampa General Hospital, tossed the coin before the opening start. Captain Sarah Kociuba, who is also from Cleveland and studied at the University of Dayton, directed the transfer to the national anthem.
Kociuba flew the B-2 stealth bomber for the flyover and is only one of 10 pilots of the aircraft in the country. A B-1 Lancer and a B-52 Stratofortress were there. Together the numbers add up to 55, which is the number for this year’s Super Bowl.
It took off from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri on its Super Bowl flight and connected to the other two aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico. From there they flew synchronously over the limited airspace to the stadium before returning to their bases. This means that Kociuba cannot watch most, if not all, of the games live.
“I am very excited and humble to be selected to lead this formation. I would say these are probably the two words that come to mind. ” Kociuba told Megan DiTrolio about Marie Claire on Saturday. “There will be two instructor pilots flying this mission. I will not only command the B-2, but the entire formation of the bombers, the B-1 and the B-52. I am a huge soccer fan. I love to watch soccer – I am amazed that I cannot watch the game live! “
She told Ditrolio that her father took her to the Rose Bowl Parade when she was eleven when she saw the B-2 she eventually flew for the Super Bowl on Sunday night. During her time in Dayton, she made the decision to join the Air Force ROTC after her freshman semester when she was working to become a pilot.
In her career, she has flown more than 90 combat missions and more than 1,700 flight hours before the transfer on Sunday evening. Kociuba is also a B-2 instructor.
Kociuba is the first female pilot to run a Super Bowl flyover according to Airways Magazine. This was also the first time that a Trifecta flyover with the three different aircraft in formation took place at a Super Bowl.
While the flyover looks easy, it requires a lot of engineering and training.
“We have been working for weeks on making this plan very precise so that we can carry it out.” Kociuba told FOX 13 in Tampa Bay. “So we will all get information together and plan together and make this reunification possible.”
Kociuba graduated from North Royalton High School in 2009.