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Air Shows not Worried about Federal Budget Cuts

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013 --- 6:35pm

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Organizers of the two largest air shows in Wisconsin say they won't be affected much by the federal budget cuts that have grounded the military's top jet demonstration teams.

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds have cancelled their seasons, along with the U.S. Army Parachute Team, known as the Golden Knights.

Paul Rodgers is president of the Milwaukee Air and Water Show. He says the August show will have a strong lineup without the Thunderbirds and Golden Knights. Rodgers says one group that's coming includes former Golden Knights and the show could have military jet teams from other countries.

Dick Knapinski (nah-PIN'-skee) of the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture says that event is more of a convention and has never relied heavily on military performers.

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) -- The producer of the Thunder on the Lakeshore air show in Manitowoc says he and others are working hard to fill gaps in the lineup left by federal budget cuts.

The armed services grounded their top jet teams as well as smaller demonstration teams to save money after automatic federal budget cuts went into effect.

Curt Drumm says Thunder on the Lakeshore was supposed to have teams of U.S. Air Force F-16s and U.S. Navy F-18s, along with a current military jet flying in a formation with retired military aircraft.

He says he's now talking to private owners of former military aircraft and to aerobatic performers and expects to have a strong lineup.

Still, Drumm says it won't be quite the same without what he calls "those big, noisy jets."

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Dozens of air shows that generate millions of dollars for local communities are being cancelled this year after the military grounded its jet teams because of the automatic federal budget cuts.

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds have cancelled their seasons, along with the U.S. Army Parachute Team, known as the Golden Knights. The armed services also have grounded smaller demonstration teams and won't provide ground displays for most shows.

John Cudahy is president of the International Council of Air Shows. He says about 200 of the nation's 300 air shows have been affected by the federal budget cuts and 60 have already been cancelled. He says more cancellations are expected, and some shows may never come back.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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