Royal Air Force Red Arrows Announce Initial Schedule For 2019 US And Canada Tour

Royal Air Force Red Arrows - AirshowStuff

The Royal Air Force Red Arrows have released an initial schedule for their highly anticipated 2019 North American Tour!

This is the first visit by the Reds since 2008, when they made several appearances during a short stint in the US and Canada.

The Reds will cross paths with the North American display teams several times; the US Navy Blue Angels in Chicago, New York, and St Louis; the US Air Force Thunderbirds in Atlantic City, and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in Toronto and Huntington Beach.

The last time a European jet team toured the US and Canada was in 2017, when France’s Patrouille de France came over in March through early May. During that visit, they performed a number of displays and flyovers and stopped at the home bases of both the Blue Angels (NAS Pensacola, FL) and Thunderbirds (Nellis AFB, NV) for photo ops and knowledge exchanges. They even managed to squeeze in a massive photo flight with the Canadian Snowbirds.

Here is the initial schedule as announced today. The release notes that additional appearances will be announced at a later date, so make sure to keep an eye out here for updates and on our airshow calendar for an extensive list of airshows and aviation events, plus other major schedules all listed in one place! You can also check our forums for discussion on the schedule and shows! We also hope you’ll share your own photos and videos of the Reds performances!

RAF Red Arrows 2019 US and Canada Tour Schedule

August 13: Gatineau, QC
August 17-18: 61st Chicago Air and Water Show – Chicago, IL
August 21: Thunder Over the Boardwalk – Atlantic City, NJ
August 24-25: New York Air Show – New Windsor, NY
August 31-September 1: Canadian International Airshow – Toronto, ON

September 7-8: Spirit of St. Louis Air Show & STEM Expo – St. Louis, MO
September 20-22: Oregon International Air Show – Hillsboro, OR

October 4-6: The Great Pacific Airshow – Huntington Beach, CA

Here is the full press release released today, emphasis ours:

A list of locations where people can see the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team display during a major tour of North America has been released.

The confirmed displays include appearances by the Red Arrows in Canada and on both the east and west coasts of the United States, with more events expected to be announced in the weeks to come.

Speaking from Nellis Air Base, Nevada, UK Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said:

“I am delighted people all over the US and Canada will be able to see our world-famous Red Arrows in action.

“Previous tours have generated huge amounts of investment for the UK, and we hope the team lighting up the skies of two of our closest defence allies will bring more of the same.”

The team will fly to North America for the Western Hawk 19 tour this summer, expecting to arrive in Canada on August 8.

The display locations in Canada and the US where the Red Arrows are confirmed as performing in 2019.
Display locations confirmed for the forthcoming tour to North America by the Red Arrows.
During the deployment – which will be the largest to the region in a generation – the Red Arrows will help to support a range of British interests and promote trade and cooperation, as part of the United Kingdom’s prosperity agenda.

As well as displaying at locations and shows across North America, the team will also attend several engagements on the ground, coordinated by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the UK Government’s GREAT campaign.

The first locations being confirmed for where the Red Arrows will display are:

RAF Red Arrows 2019 North American Tour - AirshowStuff

Ottawa – Gatineau-Ottawa Airshow
Chicago – Air and Water Show
Atlantic City – Thunder Over The Boardwalk
New York – New York Airshow, Stewart International
Toronto – Canadian International Airshow
St. Louis – Spirit of St. Louis Airshow & STEM Expo
Portland-Hillsboro – The Oregon International Airshow
Los Angeles (Huntington Beach) – The Great Pacific Airshow
Other public events, display locations and flypasts are still to be set, with engagement opportunities planned from coast-to-coast. Further announcements will follow as confirmations are made.

The Red Arrows are renowned as one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams, having performed almost 5,000 times in 57 countries since 1965.

Flying nine BAE Systems Hawk fast-jets, the team showcases the excellence of the Royal Air Force and demonstrates the global reach and capability of the Service, together with representing the best of British at home and overseas.

Previous tours by the Red Arrows, including to the Middle and Far East, have helped generate important investment and sales for the UK across a range of sectors.

UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

“The Red Arrows have a rich tradition of working with the GREAT Britain Campaign and DIT to promote trade, investment, tourism and education, all while presenting a positive impression of the UK.

“Their tour of North America will provide an invaluable opportunity to deepen the partnership with some of our closest allies and trading partners.

“It will include an integrated programme of trade missions and business engagement, involving both the display team and ground crew, and build on the experience of previous tours to provide even stronger support for our business objectives.”

A visually-exciting display is promised by the Red Arrows during a tour to North America.

Preparations are already being carried out to create a memorable and visually-exciting display to be enjoyed by people watching throughout the latest deployment.

Squadron Leader Martin Pert, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said:

“Confirming this initial group of display locations where we will perform in North America is not just exciting for those people hoping to attend these events – but also for the whole Red Arrows team as well.

“Air and ground crews are now hard at work, preparing the display which will be seen by audiences in the UK, US and Canada this summer, while detailed planning is well underway to carefully, and safely, plot our overseas tour.

With these airshows announced, we can now join friends and fans alike in visualising what people will be able to enjoy when the Red Arrows make our biggest ever visit to the US and Canada. – Red 1

“However, the air display is only half the story – much of our activity in support of UK interests overseas is centred on considerable ground engagement. As a team, we are particularly enthusiastic about meeting so many individuals, from business leaders and military counterparts to young people and airshow crowds.”

After displaying at the Royal International Air Tattoo, between July 19 and July 21, in the UK, the Red Arrows will undertake a short period of maintenance and preparation before departing for North America.

GEICO Skytypers Pilot Ken Johansen Killed In Long Island Crash

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Geico Skytypers Crash - Ken Johansen

Ken Johansen, a member of the the GEICO Skytypers airshow team, was killed earlier today when his SNJ-2 aircraft crashed in Melville, NY on Long Island.

Witnesses say the aircraft encountered an issue in flight, leading to the crash. The crash site was in a residential area not far from the team’s home airport, the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, NY. Video taken immediately before the crash shows the aircraft in a spin as it approaches the ground.

Nobody on the ground was injured. The fire was quickly extinguished by local and airport fire crews.

GEICO Skytypers

Ken is a second generation Skytyper. His father, Bob is also on the team. Ken first flew with the Skytypers at the age of eight. The team’s website says he caught the aviation bug early in life from his father. Ken graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1989 and earned his Navy wings in 1991.

He went on to fly P-3 Orions on both coasts with VP-23 and VP-46. His career also took him to the Netherlands, where he flew P-3s with the Royal Netherlands Navy from 1996 to 1998. Ken opted to transition from active duty with the Navy and was quickly hired by TWA, where he flew MD-80s, 757s, and 767s. After giving up his active duty status, Ken was also hired by VR-52 in Willow Grove, PA, as a Navy Reserve Instruction Pilot flying DC-9s around the world. Recently, he was the Commanding Officer of VR-58 in Jacksonville, FL, flying C-40s (737-700s) throughout the world. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

An investigation is underway involving the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The GEICO Skytypers are well known for their skytyping and airshow demonstrations. Using their WWII-era SNJ trainers, they create words in the sky the size of the Empire State Building.

The team performed last weekend at the Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach, very close to the crash site, and was scheduled to perform this weekend at the NAS Patuxent River airshow in Maryland.

AirshowStuff extends our condolences to the family, friends, and teammates of Ken.

GEICO Skytypers Ribbon

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!

2017 Bethpage Airshow Cancels Planned F-18 Hornet Demonstration Due To Airspace Restrictions

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F/A-18F Super Hornet

The Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach in New York has been forced to cancel the planned F/A-18 Hornet demonstration, the show announced today. Due to runway construction at JFK airport and the subsequent rerouting of air traffic, the show will not have the air space necessary for the Hornet team to perform. Traffic will still be coordinated to allow the US Air Force Thunderbirds to perform, and the other performers do not require the same amount of space so they are unaffected.

The airshow is scheduled for May 27 and 28. The cancellation may give the Hornet team (from VFA-106) the chance to book another show in its place. We will update our 2017 Hornet and Super Hornet Demonstration Schedules with any such info as we get it.

2017 New York Airshow Moves Dates To July, Lands Blue Angels

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US Navy Blue Angels and Crowd

The US Navy Blue Angels have filled a notable hole in their schedule, the 4th of July weekend. The team announced today that they will be performing at the New York Airshow at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, NY on July 1-2. The airshow was previously scheduled for September, but organizers changed dates to take advantage of the opportunity. They say tickets that were already purchased for the September dates will be exchanged for the new dates, and that details will be made available in the coming days.

The airshow also garnered attention recently when it was included on the schedule for the 2017 Patrouille de France North American tour. That appearance is listed for April 22nd and 23rd, and many were confused as to whether the airshow would move to April or be held separately. Subsequent posts by the event’s Facebook page have indicated that the French appearance is a private performance for media and invited guests only, and is entirely separate from the regular airshow.

In other Blue Angels news, we recently reported that the team’s beloved C-130 Hercules known as “Fat Albert” will miss the beginning of the 2017 airshow season due to ongoing maintenance.

USAF Thunderbirds To Fly Over New York City, Statue of Liberty, And World Trade Center

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USAF Thunderbirds Flyover Statue of Liberty in New York City
Photo credit: NY Airshow/USAF

Flyover alert! Six red, white and blue F-16 Fighting Falcons of the US Air Force Thunderbirds will fly over famous sights around New York City, NY on the morning of September 2nd.

The team will flyover the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson River, setting up a unique photo opportunity with the World Trade Center. If you live in the area and want to see the flyover yourself, Battery Park, South Cove Park, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, or Nelson A. Rockefeller Park should be good vantage points for the flyover Friday morning in Lower Manhattan. Liberty State Park or J. Owen Grundy Park on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River would also be good vantage points.

The six jets are expected over the landmarks around 9:45 am. AirshowStuff will be sure to post some pictures and videos of the flyover after it happens for those who can’t see it in person!

US Navy F/A-18 Hornet Teams Fill In For Blue Angels, Honor Fallen Pilot

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US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet

When the US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet demonstration teams perform in place of the Blue Angels over the next two weekends, their performances will be dedicated to the memory of Capt. Jeff Kuss, the Blue Angel pilot who was killed in a crash last week.

The teams from VFA-106 and VFA-122 were tasked to fill in for the Blues when the team officially canceled its performances in Syracuse, NY and Dayton, OH over the next two weekends. The VFA-106 team will perform in Syracuse on June 11-12, and the VFA-122 team will perform in Dayton on June 18-19. The VFA-106 Super Hornet and Legacy Hornet aircraft, which was already scheduled to perform in Rhode Island this weekend, will even sport special ‘6’ decals to honor Capt Kuss, who flew as Blue Angel 6. Photos from the US Navy Tac Demo Facebook Page.

US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet With Blue Angel 6 DecalUS Navy F/A-18C Hornet With Blue Angel 6 Decal

The addition of the Super Hornet demonstrations will help bolster the lineups of the shows and maintain the Navy’s presence at them. Each show has added other acts to their lineup since the cancellation as well. No announcements have been made as to future Blue Angel shows that may be impacted by their stand down, or possible appearances by the Hornet and Super Hornets to fill in for them.

Syracuse International Air Show Books Sea Harrier To Replace Blue Angels; Show Will Donate All Profits

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Art Nalls takes a bow in his Sea Harrier to cap off his performance at the 2015 Rockford AirFest.
Art Nalls takes a bow in his Sea Harrier to cap off his performance at the 2015 Rockford AirFest.

The Syracuse International Air Show, scheduled for this upcoming June 11-12 weekend, has secured the Nalls Aviation Sea Harrier as its headlining act. The show took quick action to book the “SHAR” after the US Navy Blue Angels canceled their performance in the wake of last week’s tragic crash of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss. Organizers decided to hold the show as a tribute to Capt. Kuss, and will donate all profits to his family. Art, like many on his team, is a former Marine and was happy to help. He will also donate a large portion of his appearance fee to the fallen angel’s family.

Many more airshows will be scrambling to find new headliners due to the unprecedented dual stand downs by the Blue Angels as well as the USAF Thunderbirds after their own crash last week. Generally a last minute cancellation is the worst thing that can happen to an airshow organization, so the shows will likely go on as scheduled. Performers like the Art Nalls and the Breitling Jet Team may get some extra calls for their services. It also remains to be seen whether the immense public spotlight that was put on airshows after the crashes will help or hurt attendance. Hopefully all of the upcoming airshows can weather the storm.

Enjoy this unique view that we were able to capture of Art Nalls’ performance at the 2014 Cleveland National Air Show:

BREAKING NEWS – Aircraft Crashes During Practice For NY Airshow

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Orange County officials have said that a pilot has been killed in a crash that occurred around 1400 EST during a practice for the New York Air Show this weekend at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, NY.

The pilot was flying a Giles G202 all-carbon-fiber unlimited-level aerobatic airplane through his show routine when it appears the tail of the aircraft separated from the aircraft.

Images by Benjamin Granucci show the aircraft’s empennage had broken away in flight during an inverted pass.

Performer practice for today has been cancelled. The show is expected to continue as planned.

Twitter Airshow Recap: May 23-24

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Here’s a look at the sights and sounds of airshows last weekend, as told through Twitter. Be sure to tweet us (@AirshowStuff) with your own airshow experiences throughout the year, so that we can share them! If Twitter’s not your thing, you can always post to our Facebook page as well!

Bethpage Air Show – Jones Beach, New York

Rochester International Air Show – Rochester, New York

Salute to Veterans Air Show – Columbia, Missouri