Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)
Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)

USAF Thunderbird F-16 Involved In Mishap At 2017 Dayton Air Show

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USAF Thunderbirds 7 and 8 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010

AirshowStuff has learned that an F-16 belonging to the USAF Thunderbirds has been involved in an incident at the Dayton Air Show in Dayton, OH.

According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred after the F-16 landed and was taxiing. The plane went off the runway and is currently in the grass. Law enforcement in the Dayton area are confirming than a Thunderbird jet is “on its top.”

This picture, posted by Dayton Daily News shows emergency crews responding to the incident scene.

The pilot of the jet at the time was Thunderbird #8, Capt. Erik “Speedy” Gonsalves. Tech Sargent Kenneth Cordova was the backseater. The mission was on a familiarization flight for Tech Sargent Cordova.

Both occupants of the plane were transported to the hospital. Thunderbird #1 says that injuries are non-life threatening. Tech Sargent Cordova had no visible injuries and is doing “just fine.” Thunderbird #8 had lacerations and injuries to his leg but is in stable to good condition and doing well.

There was heavy rain and wind in the area at the time of the incident. We’ll post more details on our forums as they become available.

The plane took off around 10:30 am this morning. Weather at the time met the criteria for the flight. He flew an instrument procedure approach to recover to the base. Mishap happened after landing on Runway 6L.

An accident safety board will investigate and the results will be made public at a later time. The Thunderbirds will NOT perform on Saturday at the Dayton Airshow. Sunday’s performance is to be determined.


Canadian Forces Snowbirds Set To Resume 2017 Airshow Appearances Following Stand Down

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Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are set to resume their 2017 airshow schedule this weekend! They are returning from a self-imposed safety stand down that was announced on May 15th and led them to cancel six airshow appearances through June 4th. Their first show back will be in Dundurn, Saskatchewan this coming weekend.

The team’s regular training period was hampered by bad weather which limited their practice time. After some reported difficulties during at least one airshow performance, it was determined that they would return home for several weeks to focus on perfecting their skills and routines. It seems that they feel confident in their training now, and are ready to hit the road again to airshows all over Canada and the United States. We can’t wait to see them!

Fat Albert Is Ready To Roll: Maintenance Complete!

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Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

The Blue Angels’ C-130T Hercules, affectionately known as “Fat Albert” is ready to return to the team after undergoing a maintenance overhaul at Hill AFB! Fat Albert crew members went to Hill AFB recently to check out Bert and take delivery of the aircraft. Bert had been at Hill for several months after a chemical de-paint process was performed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. This process allowed for the removal of the paint to check for any corrosion on the aircraft.

In May, we reported that Bert (minus the famous Blue and Gold paint) was undergoing test flights over Hill AFB.

At Hill, Bert underwent a complete programmed depot maintenance checkout and got a new coat of paint to get airshow ready!

Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

Fat Albert has been missing from the team’s aerial demonstrations since mid-2016. While Bert was undergoing maintenance, the team borrowed another C-130, always known as Ernie, and the popular airshow demonstrations were not performed. Now that the work is complete, the pilots will begin practicing the airshow routine and finally bring Bert back to the airshow circuit. At this time, we don’t know when during the 2017 season Bert will return to aerial demonstrations with the team, but stay tuned for more updates!

Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFBFat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB
Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFBFat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

UPDATED: Canadian Snowbirds Announce Safety Stand Down, Cancel Six Upcoming Airshow Appearances

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Canadian Forces Snowbirds

Updated 5/16/17:
The Snowbirds have confirmed that these cancellations are due to a safety stand down for additional training time. In addition to the three shows in the original post below, another three have now been announced as canceled by the team.

The May 27-28th Airshow YQG in Windsor, Ontario has been called off following the cancellation there. It was to be the first one in Windsor in several years and the first under a new group.

The May 31st show in Whiteman, Missouri (Note: This is NOT the Wings Over Whiteman show in June, which is unaffected) is also canceled, as is the June 3-4 show in Duluth, Minnesota. That show still has the Blue Angels and will no doubt continue.

Although the news is disappointing, it is obviously the right call. Safety must come first. We hope the team has a successful training period and we look forward to seeing their amazing performances soon!

The Snowbirds released this statement on their Facebook page:

We have decided to undertake additional practice and training from our home base at 15 Wing Moose Jaw before returning to our 2017 scheduled air performance season.

While we have had several well-executed shows and practices early in the season, our Team Lead has determined that additional training is required.

“A reduced training period hampered by poor weather which continued into the show season, resulted in numerous cancelled practices. As a result, more training is required before the Snowbirds resume the 2017 schedule.”, said Major Patrick Gobeil, Snowbirds Team Lead.

We have cancelled our participation in some upcoming air shows, and intend to return to the air show circuit once we have the consistency required for our dynamic nine-aircraft aerobatic performance.

The Snowbirds thank the air show organizers for their understanding and all our fans for their continued encouraging messages.

Original Post:
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds canceled three upcoming airshow appearances today.

The team was set to perform at in Rochester, New York on Wednesday evening, the 17th. They were the only flying performer, and the entire event has now been canceled. It is common for the Snowbirds to perform such mini-airshows during the middle of the week as they transit between larger weekend shows.

Also canceled is the team’s appearance at the 2017 Rhode Island Airshow in North Kingstown, RI. That event is scheduled for this coming weekend (the 20th and 21st) and as of now the rest of the show is still on as planned. The Snowbirds were the headlining act.

Just before publishing this post, we found out that the team has also canceled a May 24th appearance at Fort Erie.

We have heard reports that this is part of an internal safety stand down by the team, but we have not been able to confirm that. They performed in Memphis, TN this past weekend and did have an unusual incident where one jet broke from formation. All nine jets landed safely shortly thereafter. We have reached out to the Snowbirds for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

As always, we hope you will share your information and comments on our forums!

Gary South Shore Airshow Canceled For 2017

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 2

US Air Force Thunderbirds

The 2017 Gary airshow has been canceled by the city after failing to attract a major corporate sponsor. The event has faced similar trouble in recent years, and has been canceled several times since 2000. The headlining USAF Thunderbirds needed a go/no go decision by Monday the 15th, so Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson pulled the plug on Friday afternoon. The July 8-9 weekend will now be open on the team’s 2017 airshow schedule for another airshow to arrange an appearance.

Patrouille de France Wrap Up 2017 North American Tour, Join Snowbirds For 19-Ship Photo Flight

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Canadian Forces Snowbirds and Patrouille de France

The Patrouille de France finished off their 2017 North American tour with a bang last week, when they joined the Canadian Force Snowbirds for a joint formation flight. The massive group of 19 aircraft passed over Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, before overflying Montreal in Quebec.

Canadian Forces Snowbirds and Patrouille de France - Aero 150Canadian Forces Snowbirds and Patrouille de France

The teams performed for one another the weekend prior, at the Aero 150 airshow in Gatineau. The French worked their way home following the flyovers, hopping across the North Atlantic. They are now back in France and will participate in the European airshow season.

Canadian Forces Snowbirds and Patrouille de France

The Patrouille were also able to fly with both the US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels during their tour, as well as performing at several airshows and enjoying photo flights over major US landmarks.

All photos courtesy of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and Patrouille de France

BREAKING: Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo Added to the 2017 Memphis Airshow

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Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo added to Memphis Airshow

Big news for those attending the Memphis Airshow this weekend. The show has added performances by the CF-18 Hornet Demo Team and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron!


The addition of the two teams comes after show organizers were forced to cancel the Montreal 375 celebration, which was to feature the Snowbirds. Flooding in Canada has caused numerous issues and resulted in the deployment of Canadian Forces and first responders.



The Snowbirds and CF-18 join an already stellar lineup which includes the Blue Angels, USAF F-16 Viper Demo, Shockwave Jet Truck, Leap Frogs, Scooter Yoak in his P-51, Jim Tobul in his F-4U Corsair, Skip Stewart, Mike Wiskus, Michael Goulian, the Stearman Formation Team and a B-17.

Tickets are available at MemphisAirshow.org

“Naked” Fat Albert Returns To Flying Following Major Overhaul

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"Naked" Fat Albert Takes Flight After Overhaul

One of our fans sent in these photos of Fat Albert looking decidedly naked a few days ago. The Blue Angels’ famous C-130 Hercules has been undergoing major repairs at Hill AFB in Utah for months, but the aircraft is clearly airworthy again, and we’re told new blue, gold, and white paint is being applied this week. That’s surely a good sign!

"Naked" Fat Albert Takes Flight After Overhaul

Bert was previously expected to resume airshow demonstrations by now, but the latest rumors put the return to performing in early June. Although the aircraft is flying and being readied for its return to service, the all-Marine crew will need to complete their annual training before performing. In the mean time, they have been borrowing a standard KC-130, known as “Ernie”, to fulfill the team’s transportation needs.

Photo credit: Photos by DOPEY

US Air Force Thunderbirds Visit US Navy Blue Angels In Pensacola For Joint Training, Formation Photo Flight

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US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels Group Photo

Jet team fans in Florida got a rare treat last week when the US Air Force Thunderbirds popped in for a visit with the US Navy Blue Angels and their home base in Pensacola. The two teams rarely cross paths during the airshow season, but do try to arrange some time together each year to learn from one another and pass on knowledge.

US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue AngelsUS Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels

This year, the Thunderbirds took advantage of some convenient timing and stopped at NAS Pensacola between their shows at nearby Tyndall AFB and Lake Charles, LA. They received a warm welcome from their Navy counterparts, and during the three days together the team members swapped best practices and bonded through many different activities.

US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue AngelsUS Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels

On Tuesday, each team performed a full routine over the base and two pilots from each team were able to ride with their counterparts. The Blue Angels are famous for not wearing G-suits, and you can rest assured that Thunderbirds #1 and #5 did not wear any during their ride either. Blue Angels #1 and #4, however, did accept the offered G-suits for their ride in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, since it can pull more Gs than the Hornet.

US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue AngelsUS Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels

The maintenance and support crews got in on the fun as well, and the public affairs officers from each team ‘took over’ the other team’s Instagram account, and documented the visit with many video clips and photos. Among the coolest photos taken were several group shots of the combined teams. The joint training concluded with a double formation photo flight over the surrounding area, offering the Thunderbirds a chance the “buzz the beach”, the typical Blue Angel practice upon returning home from a show. The photo flight did have a hiccup when some turbulence caused two Blue Angel Hornets to make mid-air contact, but the highly trained pilots recovered quickly and ensured a safe outcome.

You can see more of the incredible photos and videos from this event in our forum thread: 2017 US Navy Blue Angels/USAF Thunderbirds Joint Training

Patrouille de France Concludes 2017 US Tour, Heads For Canada

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Patrouille de France Over Kittyhawk/Wright Brothers Monument

The Patrouille de France has finished their 2017 tour of the United States, and the team is on its way north to Canada right now. The French have spent the last several days at the NATO Festival in Norfolk, Virginia and performed several flyovers of the city and surrounding area during their time there. The image above shows them flying over Kittyhawk, North Carolina and the Wright Brothers Memorial. Just out of view is where the first powered flight took place in 1903.

Patrouille de France Over Norfolk

The Patrouille is due to perform at the Wings Over Gatineau airshow in Quebec today, then perform a joint flight with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds tomorrow over Parliament Hill on Ottawa. All ten Alpha Jets and their A400M support aircraft will then transit the North Atlantic back to Europe.

Top photo: Patrouille de France on Twitter
Bottom photo: Larry Ferdinande

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