Raleigh-based Bandit Flight Team flying into national spotlight with new documentary

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Raleigh-based Bandit Flight Team featured in new documentary
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The all-volunteer aviation team Bandit Flight Team, based in Raleigh, is the subject of a new documentary, "Flying For the Flag."

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The all-volunteer aviation team Bandit Flight Team is the subject of a new documentary, "Flying For the Flag." The Bandit Flight Team is the most active flight team in the country, which is one of the reasons filmmaker Daniel Putkowski of Hawser Media based in Sanford wanted to feature them in a documentary.

"I've been working on the Bandit Flight Team story for about a year and a half," Putkowski said.

The team of pilots and ground coordinators put on about 50 events a year. It performs flyovers at North Carolina State University football games, NASCAR races, and pays tribute to military members in vintage aircraft.

Putkowski said the precision formation flying and dedication of the unpaid team is what sets it apart.

"Another part of the documentary is the process," Putkowski said. "So, how actually does the Bandit Flight Team accomplish their mission? How do they fly over on time and to the music, all these other criteria that they have to meet in order to be the professionals that they are? And so we show that whole process -- how they plan a mission, what the flight lead does what the wingman does, what the ground controllers do. So it's really a very coordinated team effort that all comes down to four seconds."

Putkowski said the "Flying For The Flag" documentary will soon be available to stream. Details are still being negotiated. Cast members and crew will premiere the film in Cary the last weekend of January.