Latest Victim of Budget Cuts: Air Shows

Dozens of shows called off after Blue Angels, Thunderbirds grounded

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 29, 2013 12:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Automatic federal budget cuts have sent air shows around the US into a tailspin from which some may never recover. The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds jet teams and the Golden Knights parachute team, the biggest attractions at many shows, were grounded April 1, causing 60 of the country's 300 or so annual air shows to cancel instead of going ahead with a big drop in attendance, the AP reports.

Around 200 air shows have been affected by the cutbacks, according to the chief of the International Council of Air Shows, who predicts that more shows will be canceled and some will never return, even if the military's superstars take to the skies again. Studies show that the air shows generate $1 billion to $2 billion for local economies nationwide, he notes.

The Air Force Thunderbirds, seen here the Air Expo 2012 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., were grounded April 1.
The Air Force Thunderbirds, seen here the Air Expo 2012 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., were grounded April 1.   (AP Photo/Lui Kit Wong, Tacoma News Tribune, File)
The US Navy's Blue Angels perform their precision aerobatics over the Florida Keys during the Southernmost Air Spectacular at Naval Air Station Key West last month.
The US Navy's Blue Angels perform their precision aerobatics over the Florida Keys during the Southernmost Air Spectacular at Naval Air Station Key West last month.   (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Rob O'Neal)
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