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.
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!
The US Army Golden Knight that was injured in a mid air collision with a US Navy Leap Frog during the Chicago Air and Water Show this weekend has died of his injuries. He has been identified as 32-year-old Sgt. First Class Corey Hood. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Sgt. Hood had served in the Army for more than 10 years and earned several medals during that time. He was an Airborne Forward Observer and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming a member of the Golden Knights’ Black demonstration team. Sgt. Hood was one of the Golden Knights present when AirshowStuff’s Patrick Barron rode with the team earlier this year at the Dayton Airshow.
The two parachute teams were performing together at the airshow, and the two jumpers apparently collided while splitting apart in a bomb burst maneuver. The Leap Frog suffered a broken leg and was treated by medics upon landing. Witnesses report that Sgt. Hood appeared to be under canopy but unconscious as he neared the ground. He clipped a building before falling to the sidewalk below. The Golden Knights canceled their remaining performances this weekend and initiated a safety stand down to review the incident.
Our thoughts are with Sgt. Hood’s family and friends, especially his team members.