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.

USAF Thunderbirds Cancel Appearances After Fatal Accident

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 1

Thunderbirds Cancel Shows

Following a crash which killed Thunderbird #4, the team has canceled some upcoming shows.

As of April 6th, the team’s performances at March AFB and Sun ‘n Fun have been canceled. The rest of the season schedule is still to be determined. Canceling shows while the team stands down to investigate the mishap and take time to grieve is standard protocol following crashes.

“Though we are deeply saddened by their loss of a valuable teammate, we totally understand and support the Thunderbirds’ decision. They have a requirement to take the necessary time to assess their current situation and plot a path forward, and we certainly respect their professionalism and diligence in ensuring their safe return to airshows,” said John Leenhouts, SUN ‘n FUN President/CEO.

Leenhouts also confirmed that this year’s daily airshows will include several activities to honor the service of Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, the fallen Thunderbird Number 4, and that a portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will be donated through the proper channels to support the Thunderbird family.

The Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) and Sun ‘n Fun are working together to bring alternative USAF demonstrations to the event.

In a statement, Airshow Director Greg Gibson said “We appreciate ACC’s efforts on our behalf in such a short timeframe. They are working to make available a potential first-line combat aircraft to perform full aerial displays and/or engage in Heritage Flights with several of the numerous rare WWII fighters we have in attendance this year. We will make periodic announcements throughout the following days as these appearances are confirmed.”

Please visit our forums for further discussion on the crash and what it means for the airshow season.

Disney World Visitors Treated To Blue Angel Flyovers

posted in: Flyovers, Jet Teams | 0
US Navy Blue Angels - Walt Disney World Flyover
Photo: Walt Disney World

Visitors to Walt Disney World got a special treat today when the US Navy Blue Angels performed a pair of flyovers above the Magic Kingdom park. The six-ship delta formation flew down Main Street USA before performing a Delta Breakout over the iconic Cinderella Castle. Photos of the flyby were all over social media following the flight; the appearance clearly thrilled the crowds below.

The team performed a similar flyover in 2015 while transiting from NAS Pensacola to Melbourne, FL for an airshow. This year they were on their way to the massive Sun ‘n Fun airshow in nearby Lakeland, FL. We live-streamed their practice over on the AirshowStuff Facebook page after their arrival there.

2017 SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In – The Perfect Spring Break for Pilots

posted in: Airshows | 0

Sun n Fun 2017 Schedule

For pilots and airshow fans looking to have a little fun in the Florida sun, the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In Expo is looking like the perfect Spring trip.

Since 1975, SUN ‘n FUN has been the Spring destination for pilots and award-winning airshow performers.

The 2017 edition of the show is looking like another award winner. Below is the schedule for the daily airshow:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017: 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Patrouille de France, Jean-Marc d’Hulst Starduster, Warbirds, Michael Goulian, Aerostars, Larry Kelly (Panchito), Matt Younkin, Greg Colyer, Greg Koontz (Super Decathalon), Bob Carlton.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017: 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Matt Chapman, Warbirds, Greg Colyer T-33, Class of ’45, Larry Kelly (Panchito), Jerry Kerby RV-8, Gene Soucy, Viper Demo and HF with P-51, Aeroshell,

Wednesday will also feature a night time airshow that starts at 7:30pm.

Thursday, April 6, 2017: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Thursday is a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness one of the largest demonstrations of P-51 Mustangs this century has seen yet! In partnership with Stallion 51 and Experience Kissimmee, SUN ‘n FUN is proud to bring you this exceptional tribute to the P-51, featuring over two dozen pristine examples of the famous fighter thundering across the skies over Lakeland.

Other demos include the Blue Angels Practice, Gene Soucy, and Aeroshell.

Friday, April 7, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Matt Chapman, Warbirds, Jim Pietz F33C, Geico Skytypers, Jessy Panzer Pitts Demo, Viper HF with P-51 and A-10, Michael Goulian, Art Nalls Harrier, Aeroshell, Gary Rower Stearman and the Blue Angels.

Saturday, April 8, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Geico Sktypers, David Martin Cap 232, Michael Goulian, Art Nalls Harrier, Class of ’45, Viper Demo with P-51 and A-10 HF, Jessy Panzer Pitts Demo, Jim Peitz, Julie Clark, and the Blue Angels.

Saturday, April 8, 2017 Night Air Show: 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Lee Lauderback, Paradigm Paragliders, Aeroshell, Dan Buchanan, Gene Soucy, Manfred Radius, Bob Carlton, Gary Rower, Jerry Kerby and Fireworks.

Sunday, April 9, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
UAS Demo, SOCOM Parachute Team, Manfred Radius, Paradigm Paragliders, Art Nalls Harrier, Geico Skytypers, Viper Demo and HF with P-51 and A-10, Gene Soucy, Julie Clark, Thom Richard (P-40), David Martin, and the Blue Angels demo.