Category Archives: Airshow News America

Severe flooding causes cancellation of Offutt AFB Airshow

OFFUTT | The Defenders of Freedom Airshow at Offutt AFB this June has been cancelled after the base was hit by severe floods.

The show was scheduled for the 1st-2nd June and was to be headlined by the USAF Thunderbirds and US Navy Legacy Flight. However, in recent weeks the region has suffered severe flooding as heavy rain causes rivers to burst their banks. Hundreds of families have been forced to leave their homes and four people have been killed.

The New York Times reported that on Sunday, one third of Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, was underwater.

In a statement, the 55th Wing confirmed that they were fully mission-capable but the flooding has made hosting this summer’s event “untenable”.

“The scope of this historic disaster has touched nearly every aspect of Nebraska including Offutt Air Force Base,” said Col. Michael Manion, 55th Wing commander. “Assessing the impact to the base is ongoing and we will recover, but it is obvious it will be some time before we can return to normal operations or have the capacity to host an event like an air show and open house.

“We sincerely enjoy opening our gates to the public and appreciate the tremendous support we get from Bellevue, Omaha and the surrounding communities and are committed to continuing the open house and air show at the next available opportunity.”

Those who have purchased premium ‘Flight Deck’ seating will be refunded. No other future dates for an airshow at Offutt have been announced.

P-40 damaged during Tora Tora Tora air display practice

CONROE | A P-40N Warhawk was damaged in a landing accident in Texas on Saturday 16th March while rehearsing a display with the Tora Tora Tora airshow team.

The aircraft regularly joins the Tora fleet of Japanese fighter aircraft in re-enactments of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was taking part in a practice session in Conroe with the rest of the team’s aircraft when the landing gear collapsed on landing, causing the propeller to strike the ground. Nobody was injured in the accident.

The aircraft, built in 1943, was previously grounded in September 2017 when metal flakes were found in the engine, returning to flight last March. The aircraft will now spend more time on the ground, with local media reporting that repairs will cost $150,000.

Heart of Texas Airshow will be more exciting than ever

WACO | With the F-35 and Thunderbirds due to perform, the seventh edition of the Heart of Texas Airshow will be the most exciting yet.

Dozens of vintage and modern aircraft will be flying in for the show, which will be held on the 6th-7th April at TSTC Waco Airport.  This includes the six F-16s of the USAF Thunderbirds, who will be making their only appearance in the region this year at Waco.

Equally exciting for fans of military aviation is the new USAF F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team. After several years as a Heritage Flight team, the F-35 has now been cleared to fly a fully aerobatic display for the first time in the hands of the US Air Force. Their display will feature dramatic manoeuvres including minimum radius turns, a square loop, a high alpha pass and even an extraordinary ‘pedal turn’.

Waco will be just the second opportunity to see the new team after their debut at the Melbourne Air & Space Show in Florida.

A further much-anticipated military performance will come from the US Navy, who are significantly increasing the number of Legacy Flight performances being flown this year. The Heart of Texas Airshow is lucky to receive one of the first Legacy Flight displays of 2019, which will feature a T-45 Goshawk flying with a Curtis Helldiver.

Further performers will include the USASOC Black Daggers parachute demonstration team, a two-ship T-28 display from the Trojan Phlyers, Randy Ball flying the MiG-17F, B-25 Bomber “Devil Dog” and four-time World Aerobatic Champion Rob Holland, among others.

In addition to the flying displays, there will also be pleasure flights available in aircraft of the Commemorative Air Force and a variety of static display aircraft including the T-38 Talon, C-130 Hercules and A-26 Invader.

Follow This is Flight for photographs and a detailed review of the show, and visit for more information and to buy tickets!

US Navy TACDEMO and Legacy Flight schedules

The US Navy will be upping its airshow participation this year, with an increase in the number of shows receiving Super Hornet demonstrations and dozens of events hosting Legacy Flights.

The TACDEMO will this year feature an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, with the phasing out of F/A-18C Legacy Hornets. The team will perform at eight venues, up from seven last year.

Date Show
Mar 30-31 Southernmost Air Spectacular, NAS Key West, FL, USA
Apr 13 Thunder over Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
May 25-26 Bethpage Airshow, Jones Beach, NY, USA
Jun 29-30 National Cherry Festival Air Show, Traverse City, MI, USA
Jul 13-14 Toledo Airshow, Toledo ANGB, OH, USA
Aug 17-18 Sioux Falls Airshow – South Dakota ANG, Joe Foss Field, SD, USA
Aug 31-Sep 2 Cleveland National Airshow, Burke Lakefront Airshow, OH, USA
Sep 21-22 NAS Oceana Airshow, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Legacy Flights will also return in considerable numbers, with several dates posted on the Navy Legacy Flight Foundation website. These will feature the F/A-18 Hornet, FJ-4B Fury, T-45 Goshawk, SB2C Helldiver, T-6B Texan II, EA-18G Growler, A-4 Skyhawk and T-2 Buckeye, among others. One show in Canada is also planned.

Date Show Aircraft
Mar 15-17 Space Coast Warbird Airshow, Titusville, FL, USA F4U, T-45
Mar 30-31 Southernmost Air Spectacular, NAS Key West, FL, USA F4U, F-18
Mar 30-31 Melbourne Air & Space Show, Melbourne, FL, USA T-2, F-18
Apr 2-7 Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, Lakeland, FL, USA SNJ, SNJ, T-2, T-28, T-45
Apr 6-7 Heart of Texas Airshow, Waco, TX, USA SB2C, T-45
May 3-5 Central Texas Airshow, Temple, TX, USA Wildcat, T-45
May 10-12 Chennault International Airshow, Lake Charles, LA, USA SB2C, T-6B
May 18-19 Hangar 24 Craft Brewery AirFest, Redlands, CA, USA FJ-4B, F-18
May 25-26 Miami Beach Air & Sea Show, Miami Beach, FL, USA AD-4, T-6B
Jun 1-2 Offutt AFB Defenders of Freedom Air Show, Bellvue, NE, USA T-2, T-6B
Jun 15-16 Wings Over Northern Michigan Airshow, Gaylord, MI, USA A-4, EA-18G
Jun 22-23 Vectran Dayton Airshow, Dayton, OH, USA A-4, F-18
Jun 29-30 National Cherry Festival Air Show, Traverse City, MI, USA Bearcat, F-18
Jun 29-30 Quad City Airshow, Davenport, IA, USA F4U, T-45
Jul 4 Tacoma Freedom Fair & Airshow, Tacoma, WA, USA AD-4, EA-18G
Jul 6-7 Gig Harbor Wings & Wheels, Tacoma Narrows, WA, USA AD-4, F-18
Jul 13-14 Toledo Airshow, Toledo ANGB, OH, USA F4U, F-18
Jul 22-28 EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh, WI, USA EA-18G, T-45, T-6B & warbirds
Aug 9-11 Abbotsford International Airshow, Abbotsford, BC, Canada A-4, F-18
Aug 17-18 Sioux Falls Airshow – South Dakota ANG, Joe Foss Field, SD, USA FJ-4B, F-18
Aug 24-25 Rochester International Airshow, Rochester, NY, USA F4U, T-6A
Aug 31-Sep 2 Cleveland National Airshow, Burke Lakefront Airshow, OH, USA F4U, F-18
Sep 7 Northern Illinois Airshow, Waukegan, IL, USA T-2, T-45
Sep 12-15 National Championship Air Races, Reno, NV, USA FJ-4B, F-18
Sep 21-22 NAS Oceana Airshow, Virginia Beach, VA, USA F4U, F-18
Oct 4-6 Great Pacific Airshow, Huntington Beach, CA, USA F8F, F-18
Oct 12-13 Atlanta Airshow, Hampton, GA, USA F4U, T-45
Oct 19-20 Wings Over Houston Airshow, Ellington, TX, USA F4U, EA-18G
Nov 1-3 Florida International Airshow, Punta Gorda, FL, USA F4U, T-6B
Nov 1-3 Stuart Airshow, Stuart, FL, USA F4U, T-6A

CF-18 Demo Team drop CIAS, add Atlantic Canada Int’l Airshow

GREENWOOD | The Royal Canadian Air Force’s F-18 Demo Team will no longer perform at the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto.

CIAS said the air force had decided to split their demonstration teams across two shows, scheduled for the same weekend, after the Red Arrows confirmed they would be appearing at the Toronto show.

They said that while they were “disappointed” to announce the change, they would “use the vacant jet block to bring you something you haven’t seen in a while,” adding: “Stand by for G!”

The Atlantic Canada International Airshow, which will be held at CFB Greenwood, NS, said the announcement was “huge news” and “a great addition to what is shaping up to be one of our more memorable editions of #AirShowATL.”

The CF-18 Demo Team is flying at a reduced number of airshows this year due to personnel shortages. The jet is not expected to wear a full special scheme.

The Atlantic Canada International Airshow will be held on the 30th August-1st September, featuring the US Navy Blue Angels.

City announces long-term plan to revive Gary Airshow

GARY | The city of Gary will host fundraisers, including small-scale air displays, over the next two years in an attempt to bring back their popular lakefront airshow.

The last few editions of the Gary Airshow have been cancelled due to lack of funds, including the 2018 show and one scheduled for this July, which was due to host the F-16C Viper Demo Team. The last successful airshow was held in 2016, featuring the Blue Angels.

The city will not be able to host a major jet team until 2021, but will spend the next two years laying the groundwork for the event. This year, there will be a small-scale airshow at Gary/Chicago International Airport, including ground activities and aerial displays. Officials are targeting the third weekend of August.

Next year the show will be brought back to Marquette Park, its traditional venue on the shore of Lake Michigan, featuring well-known airshow performers.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson told The Chicago Crusader: ““In the midst of a financial recovery plan we started developing in 2018, we have made the decision to not host the larger event this year but to keep working and take steps toward securing strong sponsors and supporters of the city’s signature event in 2019, 2020 and 2021. With this approach, we feel confident that we will bring back one of the U.S. Military squadrons in 2021.”

US Air Force “loses confidence” in F-16 Demo pilot

SHAW AFB | This year’s USAF F-16C Demo Team pilot, Captain Zoe “SiS” Kotnik, was unexpectedly removed from her position on Monday 11th January.

Cpt. Kotnik was to be the USAF’s first female solo demonstration pilot. She was announced as this year’s pilot just two weeks ago.

Col. Derek O’Malley, Commander of the 20th Fighter Wing, said: “I removed Capt. Kotnik from her position as the commander of the Viper Demo team yesterday, because I lost confidence in her ability to lead the team.”

He suggested that Capt. Kotnik had made “mistakes”, but that she was a  “good person” and that he wanted her to have an opportunity to learn from her mistakes without being under public scrutiny. “They’ll be better for the experience, and in turn, we’ll be better as an Air Force,” he said.

“This will be a difficult time for Capt. Kotnik, but she’s surrounded by wingmen that will help her every step of the way.”

The ACC Aerial Events team said the Demo Team are working hard to minimize the impact of Capt. Kotnik’s departure on the team’s scheduled performances. However, the day after Capt. Kotnik’s replacement was announced, the team posted an updated schedule with the team’s participation at Sun ‘n Fun in Florida this April cancelled.

Maj. John “Rain” Waters, last year’s demonstration pilot, will return to fly this year’s displays.

Three Golden Knights parachutists injured in training accident

MIAMI | Three members of the US Army Golden Knights parachute team were injured during a parachute jump on Tuesday 12th January.

The accident occurred at around 04:00 at Homestead ARB near Miami. Three soldiers were injured and airlifted to the Jackson Memorial Hospital. On Wednesday the Golden Knights confirmed that two were in a critical condition, while the other sustained serious injuries. By Saturday, one been released from hospital, with the other two remaining critical but stable.

An official media release by US Army Recruiting Command said the soldiers were participating in a “routine night training operation”. Several media outlets are reporting they were performing a “halo jump” – freefalling from as high as 14,000 feet and opening their chutes at the last moment.

Homestead ARB is used by the Golden Knights for winter training and to introduce new members to the team.

The Golden Knights have thanked fans for “the outpouring of support and concern”. The accident is under investigation.

Red Arrows announce long-awaited American tour schedule

SCAMPTON | The RAF Red Arrows have announced the first round of events they plan to perform at during this year’s US and Canada tour.

The team, who fly nine Hawk T.1A jet trainers, will engage in a nine-week tour taking in major airshows as well as business and STEM engagements. It will be the first time they have visited the continent since 2008 and their first major tour of the region since 1993.

They will wrap up their UK season in on the 19th-21st July at the Royal International Air Tattoo. After a short period of leave, during which maintenance work will be carried out on the jets, the team will cross the Atlantic for the start of the tour.

So far, there are seven major shows have been listed – six across the USA and one in Canada. The team will also visit Gatineau in Canada on Tuesday August 13th as a prelude to the AeroGatineau event on the 6th-8th September.

Further engagements will be announced in due course.

Date Show
Aug 13 Gatineau-Ottawa, QC, Canada
Aug 17-18 Chicago Air & Water Show, Chicago, IL, USA
Aug 21 Thunder Over the Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ, USA
Aug 24-25 New York Airshow, Stewart, NY, USA
Aug 31-Sep 1 Canadian Int’l Airshow, Toronto, ON, Canada
Sep 7-8 Spirit of St. Louis Airshow, Chesterfield, MO, USA
Sep 20-22 Oregon Int’l Airshow, Hillsboro, OR, USA
Oct 4-6 Great Pacific Airshow, Huntington Beach, CA, USA


Ex-Blue Angel gives details on Super Hornet transition

PENSACOLA | The Blue Angels are planning to fly the F/A-18E Super Hornet for the 2021 display season, according to a former pilot.

Cpt. Ryan Bernacchi spoke to Newsradio 1620 recently, giving further details on the team’s upcoming transition from the F/A-18 Legacy Hornet.

Bernacchi said the plan is for 11 modified Super Hornets to enter Blue Angels service at the end of 2020. The Blue Angels are currently scheduled to end their 2020 display season one month earlier than usual. This will allow an extended winter training period during which the team will re-adjust to their new jets before making their Super Hornet debut in spring 2021.

However, the transition is not the US Navy’s priority and could potentially slip beyond 2020.

Cpt. Bernacchi said that the Super Hornet should fit well with the team, although some maneuver will need to be modified – although he said the look of the maneuvers should look similar from the ground. However, one move may have to be dropped entirely, and it has been suggested that the overall length of the demonstration may be marginally reduced.

He said the decision to transition to the Super Hornet, which was made last December, when the Navy evaluated that the cost of modifying Super Hornets would be similar to that of upgrading newer Legacy Hornets being retired from front-line service.