Much anticipated flight of F-15s stopped short of the Vineyard

In this file photo, an F-15 Eagle from the 104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard takes off from Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield Massachusetts, while participating in a training mission. — U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt.

This week, the Massachusetts Air National Guard announced that five F-15 fighter jets from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield would fly over areas of eastern and southeastern Massachusetts at low altitudes —  between 1,000 and 5,000 feet —  early Thursday morning as part of a pre-planned media event. It was announced that the flight path would include Bedford, Salem, Boston, Norwood, Foxboro, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The fighter jets were expected to pass over the Vineyard at 8:47 am at an altitude of 5,000 feet, according to a press release.

But the F-15s never showed, much to the disappointment of Islanders waiting, watching and looking skyward. Lt. Colonel Sean Halbrook told The Times that the F-15s only flew as far as Cape Cod due to time and fuel constraints. The jets took off late and were unable to rendezvous with a tanker, he said.