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6/30/2011 - Blue Angels Cancel Air Show Appearance

Blue Angels Cancel Air Show Appearance

Thursday, May 26, 2011 @ 10:30 AM

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are a no show for this weekend's Wheels & Wings Airshow at the Millville Municipal Airport. The news does not stop the show, but takes away what is easily the main attraction.

The financial impacts to the airport are not known at the moment, but the airport spent lavishly to attract the Blue Angels. As of last night, their appearance still was listed. The Blue Angels were the heart of this year's promotion effort. The unit hasn't been to Millville since 2007. The unit does not know how many more scheduled shows it will miss, public affairs officer Lt. Katie Kelly said in an interview from the unit's base at Pensacola, Fla.

Lisa Jester, air show director for the sponsoring Millville Army Airfield Museum, said the Navy notified the museum at about 8:30 a.m. it would not appear. Jester said the reason is the unit is in "stand down" due to safety concerns connected to a flight error by some of the unit's pilots at an air show in Lynchburg, Va., on May 22. "Our show is on," Jester said. "We just found out about it. We're going to have a show. We're going to try to fill some gaps. This is out of our control."

Kelly said the unit was informed of the decision this morning. "Higher command" made the decision, she said. Kelly said the safety concern is over why some planes went below a minimum flight ceiling during the Lynchburg show. The unit immediately returned to base for a debriefing and training, she said.

Kelly said she did not know what the Navy's responsibility is to the air show for the cancellation.