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.

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.

[Updated] Waterloo Airshow Canceled Indefinitely

posted in: Airshows | 0

B-17 Flying Fortress - Waterloo Airshow

Update: The Waterloo Airshow Facebook page has posted a statement from airshow producers David White and Richard Cooper:

“Volunteers were informed last night there just hasn’t been enough support for the event in the region. Financially we could not make the event self sustaining and after investing heavily in it for 4 years we could not justify continuing accepting the losses. Just not enough people paying to see the show, not enough sponsors.”

Original Post: We are sad to report that 2015 has lost another airshow, this time in Waterloo, Ontario (not to be confused with the show in Waterloo, Iowa). In an announcement made on the Waterloo Airshow Facebook page, the organization said that the show has been canceled indefinitely. No specific reason was given, but the show suffered from some bad weather in recent years and had to end early last year due to approaching thunderstorms.

The 2015 show was scheduled for June 27-28, and was to be headlined by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and CF-18 Hornet demo team. There is no word yet on what other show(s) may fill that spot in the team’s schedules. Cameron, MO, Mankato, MN, and Evansville, IN are all being held that same weekend but Mankato already has the Thunderbirds and Evansville already has the Blue Angels. There is a possibility that another show could jump dates, but with so little time between now and then that seems unlikely.

Several of us have attended the Waterloo Airshow in the past, and found it to be a fantastic event with some great people. We are sad to see it go and hope it can return someday soon.

Wings Over Waukesha Cancels 2015 Show, Hopes to Return

posted in: Airshows | 0

Wings Over Waukesha Airshow

The Wings Over Waukesha airshow in Waukesha, WI has canceled plans for a 2015 show, but hopes to return in 2016. In a post on the airshow’s Facebook page, the organization said that the cancellation is due to both runway construction work and lacking financial support. The show has always been a small but intimate affair, primarily featuring well known aerobatic acts and local warbirds. It is the closest on-airport show to Milwaukee, which hosts its own show on the shore of Lake Michigan each year. We are sad to see it go for this year, but hope it comes back strong in 2016!