Sequestration shuts down Thunderbirds

Friday , March 08, 2013 - 9:53 AM

Budget Battle-Air Shows

FILE - In this Saturday, July 21, 2012 file photo, members of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds...

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — In response to the looming sequestration, the Air Force has canceled all aviation support to public events for at least the remainder of the fiscal year and is shutting down the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team to save flying hours to support readiness needs.

The cancellation includes all air shows, trade shows, flyovers at funerals and military graduations, orientation flights, heritage flights, F-22 demonstration flights and open houses.

Hill Air Force Base spokesman Rich Essary said the decision will not impact the base, as an air show had not been scheduled for 2013 and Hill had no planned events featuring the Thunderbirds.

Overall, the Air Force will reduce flying hours by as much as 18 percent, which is approximately 203,000 hours.

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