Offutt AFB Cancels 2019 Airshow After Devastating Flooding

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0
Offutt AFB Nebraska Flooding - March 2019 - AirshowStuff
Photo by US Stratcom / Twitter

The 2019 Defenders of Freedom Air & Space Show at Offutt Air Force Base has been canceled. The event was scheduled for June 1-2 and would have been headlined by the US Air Force Thunderbirds.

The base announced the cancellation today, in the midst of absolutely devastating floods that have taken over much of the base’s footprint and the surrounding area. Offutt is located just outside of Omaha, Nebraska, near the Missouri River. It is home to the US Strategic Command and plays a critical role in overseeing the country’s strategic forces, including nuclear forces. As many as 30 buildings on base were reportedly damaged, though thankfully the residential part of the installation is at a higher elevation.

Four people have died due to the floods so far, and thousands have been forced from their homes. The rebuilding effort will be massive, and it makes complete sense that the personnel stationed there will not be up for hosting a large public event in just a few months time. We wish them the best in the long road ahead.

There is no word yet on how this will impact the USAF Thunderbirds’ 2019 airshow schedule or where else the team might perform that weekend instead, but we will update our airshow calendar with that information when it becomes available.

Here is the full statement from the base:

The 2019 Defenders of Freedom Air & Space Show has been cancelled.

While the 55th Wing and our partner units are fully mission-capable, the recent flooding event affecting much of Nebraska has made hosting this year’s annual event untenable.

“The scope of this historic disaster has touched nearly every aspect of Nebraska including Offutt Air Force Base,” Col. Michael Manion, 55th Wing commander, said. “Assessing the impact to the base is ongoing and we will recover, but it is obvious it will be some time before we can return to normal operations or have the capacity to host an event like an air show and open house. We sincerely enjoy opening our gates to the public and appreciate the tremendous support we get from Bellevue, Omaha and the surrounding communities and are committed to continuing the open house and air show at the next available opportunity.”

No dates for future Defenders of Freedom shows have been set at this time. Anyone who has purchased premium “Flight Deck” seating will receive a full refund and no action is required by the purchasers.

For more information, call the 55th Wing Public Affairs office at (402) 294-3663.

Rhode Island Airshow Canceled In 2019

posted in: Airshows, Schedules | 3

US Air Force Thunderbirds

The Rhode Island National Guard announced today that they are canceling their 2019 Open House and Airshow. Organizers determined that the planned deployment of troops in the coming months casts doubt on their ability to safely and effectively hold the event. The airshow is expected to return in 2020.

“Since the 1991 inception of the RING Open House Air Show, opening our doors to the public has been an annual highlight for our organization and its members,” Major Gen. Christopher Callahan said in a statement. “With this anticipated federal mobilization commitment in 2019, we have been presented with a difficult decision regarding our ability to safely and effectively conduct this public event.”

The news comes just days before the annual International Council of Airshows (ICAS) convention takes place in Las Vegas. The US Air Force Thunderbirds had been scheduled to appear at the show on June 29-30. The team has been planning to take a mid-summer break after that weekend before traveling to Colombia for an airshow in mid-July. Time will tell what airshow fills that spot, or if the mid-summer break gets extended or moved.

USAF Thunderbirds Cancel Appearance At Wings Over Columbus 2018

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 1

USAF Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcon

The USAF Thunderbirds have canceled their planned appearance at the 2018 Wings Over Columbus airshow at Columbus AFB in Mississippi. The move was announced in a video update by Thunderbird #1 following the death of Thunderbird #4, Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, in a crash during practice last week. The team had previously announced they were skipping their performances at the March ARB airshow this past weekend as well as Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, FL next weekend.

It is important to note that while the Thunderbird performances have been canceled, the airshows themselves will be held as originally scheduled. The Air Force’s Air Combat Command has been working to add single-ship demonstrations to affected shows; Sun ‘n Fun recently announced that the F-16 Fighting Falcon demonstration team (Viper Demo) will perform there to fill in for the Thunderbirds.

We have updated our 2018 USAF Thunderbirds schedule to reflect the confirmed cancellations, but we expect more appearances to be canceled as part of a safety stand down after the accident. Stay tuned to AirshowStuff for future updates.

Rockford AirFest Suspended In 2017 And Beyond Despite Scheduled USAF Thunderbirds Appearance

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 5

US Air Force Thunderbirds - Rockford AirFest

Say goodbye to the Rockford AirFest. The event has been canceled in 2017 and beyond, thanks to new tenants at the airport. The move is surprising as the show had already landed a coveted appearance by the US Air Force Thunderbirds on June 3rd and 4th of next year. Mike Dunn, the Airport’s Executive Director, says that the airport has gotten too busy to shut down operations for the show weekend.

The show had faced troubles recently, and was canceled in 2016 after scheduling conflicts with the US Air Force F-22 Raptor demonstration team that was the headline the event. Two different US Navy Blue Angel appearances were also canceled in recent years, but it nevertheless remained a popular attraction since its start in 2005. Rockford did not appear on either the Blue Angel or Thunderbirds preliminary schedules for 2018, but may have landed the F-22 Raptor demonstration.

With Rockford throwing in the towel, that weekend will now open up for the Thunderbirds. The airshow in Duluth, MN will already host the Blue Angels and Canadian Forces Snowbirds on those same dates, and may make a play for the rare privilege of hosting all three North American jet teams. More likely, another show currently without a jet team will land the Thunderbirds by changing dates. Be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow our social media channels for further updates when they are available!

Hurricane Matthew Forces Cancellation Of 2016 Wings Over The Golden Isles Airshow

posted in: Airshows | 0

Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The approach of Hurricane Matthew in the Atlantic Ocean has forced the cancellation of the Wings Over the Golden Isles Airshow in Georgia. The show was scheduled to take place in Brunswick, GA this coming weekend. It was the final 2016 airshow stop for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds outside of their home base and the team had already arrived in preparation for the event. The airshow stated that information on ticket exchanges for a planned March 2017 show will be released soon.

Here is the full statement on the event’s website:

Subsequent to Governor Deal’s declaration of emergency, today Glynn County Officials issued a voluntary evacuation notice based on the latest projections for Hurricane Matthew. While the “cone of uncertainty” continues to change, high winds and flooding are very likely for the golden isles area, with the continued possibility of more extreme weather conditions developing. Emergency procedures have been implemented for the area as the storm approaches.

JLC AirShow Management made the decision to cancel the Wings Over the Golden Isles Air Show in the interest of public safety.
Air show resources have been reallocated to assist with hurricane evacuation and preparation. “Given the potential threat to the Brunswick, GA area, it was best to stand down and forego further preparations. Redistributing our resources towards helping with emergency management and recovery is in the best interests of the community,” shared John Cowman during a Wednesday morning emergency management meeting. “We want to be part of the solution.”

For the latest updates on Glynn County evacuation plans and Hurricane Matthew updates,
please visit http://www.glynncounty.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=677

For those who have purchased advance tickets, plans are underway for a rescheduled event for March 2017. All tickets will be honored for that show. Additional information on ticket exchanges will be provided at a later time. Monitor our Facebook page and http://wingsovergoldenisles.com.

Although the loss of the show is unfortunate, there are clearly more important things at stake and we hope everyone in the area stays safe!

NAS Patuxent River Air Expo 2016 Will Be Held Without Blue Angels

posted in: Airshows | 0

Art Nalls - Sea Harrier

Naval Air Station Patuxent River will continue with it’s planned 2016 Air Expo airshow on the weekend of October 29th and 30th. The show was in doubt after the US Navy Blue Angels announced this week that they would not be attending. Organizers and performers discussed the sudden cancellation and determined that they would not allow it to cancel the show as well.

The show will still feature the US Air Force F-22 Raptor demonstration team, the Nalls Aviation Sea Harrier, the Geico Skytypers, and more. Up to date information on the show can be found on the NAS Pax River Air Expo web site.

Here is the full announcement posted to the NAS Pax River Facebook page:

NAS Patuxent River Air Expo will go on as planned Oct 29 and 30 with plenty of action to thrill the audience. Don’t miss these amazing performers:

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor demonstration team performing precision aerial maneuvers in the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft; U.S. Army Black Daggers special forces parachute demonstration team showcasing their aerial acrobatics skill and precision; the Geico Skytypers’ low-level precision flying act; Nalls Aviation’s first flyable privately owned FA-2 Sea Harrier; “Panchito,” a WWII B-25J; Clemens Kuhlig and his iconic Pitts S1S airplane; former astronaut and Navy test pilot Joe Edwards in his T-28; Manfred Radius’ quiet and elegant sailplane performance; and Scott Francis’ MXS stunt plane; static displays and more.

US Navy Blue Angels Cancel 2016 NAS Patuxent River Airshow Appearance

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 2

US Navy Blue Angels

The US Navy Blue Angels have canceled their upcoming performance at the NAS Patuxent River Air Expo, the base announced on its Facebook page earlier today. The airshow was scheduled for October 29 and 30.

The cancellation is rooted in the fatal crash of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss earlier this year. The recently released investigation into the crash determined that the high tempo of team appearances may have led to fatigue and contributed to the crash. In response, the team was ordered to take one weekend off every eight weeks. Unfortunately for fans in the area, Pax River’s show was the eighth in a row and thus the one to get cut. Luckily, it does not appear that the team will have to cancel any other shows in the 2016 season, which wraps up at their home base of NAS Pensacola, FL on November 11-12. The impact on the 2017 season is currently unknown as the policy may change during the off season.

Naval Air Station Pax River says they are reviewing the impact of the cancellation on the show. We will bring you the news if they any changes to the event.

Canadian Wildfire Smoke Cancels Blue Angels Performance In Nebraska

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0
Blue Angels Grounded Due to Smoke
Note: This is a file photo, thankfully the smoke was not this bad!

Typically, when the Blue Angels are forced to cancel a demonstration, it’s due to rain or low clouds. However, on Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska, the cancellation was due to smoke.

To be able to perform, the Blue Angels must have at least three nautical miles of visibility horizontally from the designated show center point. Saturday afternoon, visibility in the Lincoln area was significantly reduced due to wildfires burning in Canada and Minnesota. More than 600 square miles have been burned in Fort McMurray, Canada. Winds from the northeast, helped by a frontal system, blew the smoke into the area and an air quality alert was in effect.

Smoke Cancels Blue Angels Show

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Smoke Analysis product showed heavy smoke in the Lincoln area Saturday afternoon. Each red dot indicates a hot spot or an active fire detected by satellites.

Although it is certainly frustrating for the spectators, this is probably the least important consequence of the devastating fires and our thoughts are with those affected. Luckily the team was able to perform a full demonstration on Sunday.

Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Airshow Canceled For 2016; Snowbirds To Perform At New Show In Georgia Instead

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 2

Daytona Beach Airshow - Canadian Forces Snowbirds

Citing sponsorship issues, the 2016 edition of the Wings And Waves Air Show in Daytona Beach, scheduled for October 8-9, has been canceled. In an interview with the Daytona Beach News Journal, Bill Hampton, senior VP for external relations and chief marketing officer for ERAU said “We just simply didn’t fill (the airshow) with the right number of sponsorships this year.” The school’s “business model” changed in 2016, causing them to need more sponsors.

The show was scheduled to have the USAF Thunderbirds and Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Embry-Riddle is celebrating their 90th year in 2016.

But Daytona Beach’s loss is another locations gain…

Wings Over The Golden Isles Airshow

On Wednesday, Brunswick, GA was announced to have picked up the Canadian Forces Snowbirds for a show on the same weekend, the first show in Brunswick since 1997. Buck Roetman, Kent Pietsch, Rob Holland, and Patty Wagstaff will also perform. The DAV Flight Team is scheduled to bring their B-25 “Panchito”. The show will be named “Wings Over The Golden Isles Airshow”.

The Thunderbirds have not yet announced a replacement location for the weekend of October 8-9th.

Milwaukee Air & Water Show Canceled In 2016; Looking Ahead To Blue Angels In 2017

posted in: Airshows | 0

US Navy Blue Angels

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show will not take place in 2016, according to an announcement made today. Organizers are ‘postponing’ the show until 2017, when the US Navy Blue Angels are scheduled to appear at the event. At one point the show was going to feature the Blue Angels this year, but after some schedule shuffling they committed to the nearby Gary Airshow instead, which is run by the same organizer as Milwaukee (as well as Chicago and Rockford). The move was almost certainly an attempt to consolidate resources behind one show instead of struggling to fund both. Indeed, the organization notes that skipping 2016 will allow a greater focus on attracting sponsors for the 2017 show. The event relies heavily on sponsors as it is free to attend.

The airshow does not appear to have booked any other acts, so the schedule impact elsewhere should be minimal.

1 2