Storms & floods cause havoc in May for US airshows

JEFFERSON, MO | The Salute to Veterans Airshow in Jefferson City, MO, has become the latest US airshow this month to be blighted by bad weather.

The airshow, scheduled for this weekend (25th-26th May), has been called off as the airport is at risk of being flooded. On Tuesday, pilots began moving aircraft off the airport as the Missouri River is predicted to surge two feet higher than the “major flood” level in the coming days.

On Wednesday night, Jefferson City was also hit by a violent tornado, leaving thousands without power and causing widespread damage.

It is at least the third show this month to face complete or partial cancellation, after the Legends in Flight Airshow at JB Andews, MD, closed its gates on Sunday 13th May. It was the first event to host both the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds since the Quebec Airshow in 2008.

Thunder Over the Sound, at Keesler AFB and Biloxi, MS, cancelled its Saturday 4th May programme due to severe thunderstorms.

Earlier flooding on the Missouri River in March caused the Offutt AFB Defenders of Freedom Airshow, scheduled for July, to be pre-emptively cancelled after a third of the base disappeared beneath the water.

While Offutt AFB have yet to comment definitively on the future of their show, organisers of the Salute to Veterans Airshow have already said they hope to bring back the event next year.