Aviation News

January 31, 2013

Budget Woes to Blunt the Blues? Blue Angels May Get the Ax

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By: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
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Fat Albert takes off during a performance in a rainy Seattle in 2010. Photo by author
Fat Albert takes off during a performance in a rainy Seattle in 2010. Photo by author
The world renowned Blue Angels may soon be facing the budget ax if Congress fails to stop the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration by March, according to a Navy report first obtained by US World News and Report. Entitled Acting Now to Mitigate…[the Sequestration]…Impact, the report details the intent to cut all Blue Angels funding starting in the third quarter of 2013 through the end of the year.

Without the high octane performers to anchor the show bill, the fourteen shows scheduled to receive the shaft will undoubtedly pay dearly for the Blues budgetary departure in their own wallet. The jet team helps draw and maintain enormous crowds. The large crowds predictably drive up ticket sales and advertising revenue. Without the extra cash that the Blues bring in with them, it will likely be hard for many of these shows to stay solvent relying only on civilian aerobatics and warbirds.

Besides the line-abreast-loop sized budget and public relations hole the cuts would impart onto the individual shows, the loss of the team would also mean a loss of connection to the community. A number of the shows have had the team perform in their city for decades, turning their participation into a long-standing tradition. Seattle’s Seafair, for example, has seen the Blues all but two years since 1972.

The Blues have performed consistently since 1946, with a brief break during the Korean War.

In case you were wondering, and we know you were, the full list of shows to get shafted includes:

Annapolis, MD

OC Airshow, Ocean City, MD

RI Airshow (Quonset), North Kingston, RI

Pax Air Expo, Patuxent River, MD

Great State of Maine Air Show, Brunswick, ME

NAS Oceana Air Show, Virginia Beach, VA

Lynchburg Regional Airshow, Lynchburg, VA

Pt. Mugu Air Show, Ventura, CA

MCAS Miramar Air Show, San Diego, CA

San Francisco Fleet Week

Seattle Seafair

Tampa, FL

NAS JAX Air Show, Jacksonville, FL

Blue Angels Homecoming Show, Pensacola, FL

 

Ouch.

Military aviation budget cuts are also leading to other unfortunate but innovative cut backs…


  • http://twitter.com/ulikeairplanes2 Marvin Smith

    Man, not even their homecoming show … weak. Hopefully they get this worked out!

  • O’HareAviation

    I am hoping that the Rockford AirFest, Rockford, IL does not get dropped. Didn’t see it there but I wonder why…..

  • kepstein01

    It’ll be a travesty to lose the Blue Angels to budget cuts because our politicians can’t work out a deal. From what I’ve been reading though, the Thunderbirds could be in a similar situation. Losing our best demonstration teams would be a disastrous outcome for the military (they’re effective recruiting tools), air shows, and aviation fans alike.