Thunderbirds to Resume Training, Appearance at Cheyenne Frontier Days 2013 Still Canceled
The U.S. Air Force announced Monday that the Thunderbirds will begin flying again. The popular Thunderbirds demonstration team comprised of F-16s also will resume training flights, but all 2013 shows, will remain canceled, according to Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, an Air Combat Command spokesman. That includes their traditional appearance at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
The military grounded the Thunderbirds this year because of budget cuts caused by sequestration. A new funding agreement temporarily restores flying hours for combat aircraft and theThunderbirds. The crews need time to train so they will not be ready for the air shows previously scheduled for this year. The restoration of flying hours will last through Oct. 1, when the new federal budget year begins. Air Force officials say they hope this will let them be ready to fly a limited number of shows next year.