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. (Read more Blue Angel stories.)