TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — The historic William Tell competition is taking place this week right here in the Hostess City and today fighter pilots took to the beach to demonstrate what they’ve been working on.

History is repeating itself as the William Tell Competition returns to the beaches of Tybee Island for the first time in 19 years. Today, F22 pilots took to the beaches to show off their skills.

“We are just excited to show them a little piece of fighter aviation,” said Colonel Stephen Tracker Thomas, Savannah Combat Readiness and Training Center Commander. 

Top Gun has come to Savannah to compete in the 2023 William Tell Aviation Competition and beachgoers had the chance to watch the pilots in action.

Master Sergeant Caila Arahood said, “These F22 pilots wanted to show Tybee and Savannah a little more about what they do since many people watching from the airport can only see the take-offs and landings”

Pilots performed different maneuvers and even flew over the pier so viewers could get a closer look at the plane but Coloner Tracker Thomas says it is events like this inspire the next generation. 

“To know that the Tybee and Savannah community are behind the airport we got a great turnout here and a lot of people have put in a lot of effort for this to happen so it’s great to see the crowds the kids, you know,” said Tracker Thomas. “I’m getting older so it’s time to start looking for that next generation so to see them out here watching the best demonstration we have to offer is amazing”

Beachgoers Dale and Maureen drove all the way from Florida just to watch the once-in-a-lifetime event and they say it made them proud to be American.

“Proud, very proud. These guys are well-trained you can just imagine them in a dog fight. These guys have no fear so very proud of them,” the Jacksons added. 

The competition will continue all week long and you can see pilots take off and land at the Savannah airport or other spotter locations around Savannah.