Thunderbirds May Be Grounded For 2013 Air & Water Show
By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 12, 2013 4:20PM
Photo credit: Jason Mrachina
NBC Chicago reports the current sequestration battle in Washington may have ramifications beyond longer lines at airports and infrastructure projects stalled indefinitely. Military aircraft demonstration teams have had their budgets cut as a result of the sequester, which may affect to perform in events such as this summer’s Chicago Air and Water Show.
In the case of the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, they’ve already served notice to the show’s organizers that, barring a break in the impasse, they’ll skip the August event. Thunderbirds spokesman Maj. Darrick Lee told NBC Chicago all flyovers and events after April 1 have been canceled. "We’re still hoping to be flying again in the future, and we’re going to be ready when that time comes. But it’s just looking like that’s not going to happen in the 2013 season.
Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events spokeswoman Mary May said the Air & Water Show will continue as planned and the event’s website still has the Thunderbirds, the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team listed as participants. The Golden Knights also indicated sequestration will put a crimp in their performance schedule, so it's very possible people flooding the lakefront Aug. 17 and 18 may be saying “America: Fuck No” without these marquee acts.
We’re guessing sequestration won’t have any adverse effects on military recruitment at the show, outside of the vulgar display of power overhead. Lee did say the Thunderbirds pilots would continue to train in the event a budget deal is reached.