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Rain Dampens 49th Air and Water Show

By Todd McClamroch in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 20, 2007 12:00PM

2008_08_19_HeritageFlight.gifSunday's Chicago Air & Water Show was canceled midway through the show due to deteriorating weather conditions. The show began during a light rain at 11am but as the day progressed, more rain came in and the visibility and cloud ceiling diminished to the point that officials canceled the show for safety’s sake.

Attendees on Sunday were able to see some acts, including the U.S. Army Golden Knights, Aeroshell, the F-15 Strike Eagle Demonstration team and the A-10 demonstration team, among others. But the show was canceled before the headline act, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, could thrill the crowd.

Although there was periodic rain on Saturday, a large crowd made it out and enjoyed a full Air & Water Show. Conversely, the weather on Sunday appeared to scare many away, leading to an estimated attendance for the two-day event of 1.3 million down from nearly 2 million last year on a rain-free weekend.

2008_08_19_Sean_Tucker.gifChicagoist had a great time at the show on Saturday. We really enjoyed the heritage flight which consisted of a flight of a Vintage WWII P-51 flying alongside a F-15 and the F-22. Just before the Heritage Flight, the F-22 Raptor put on an amazing aerial demonstration (shown above). Our photos from the Air and Water Show can be found on Flickr.

What we enjoyed most was people watching during the show. The demonstrations amazed not just the kids but adults alike. Hearing the excitement in kids’ voices as they watched the show was a thrill. One of our favorite moments was when Sean Tucker, after flying an amazing display of aerobatics, returned to show center to meet some fans and take the time to talk to kids who wanted to meet him. I am sure this weekend’s show not only entertained but also inspired a few attendees to look at opportunities within our armed forces or to explore a career in aviation.