F.E. Warren Cancels 2023 Air Show After Thunderbirds Pull Out
Due to the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pulling out, this summer's Wings Over Warren Air Show has been canceled, F.E. Warren Air Force Base announced Thursday.
Because of construction at Cheyenne Regional Airport, the Thunderbirds have been flying their Cheyenne Frontier Days performances out of Northern Colorado Regional Airport in Loveland since 2021 and would have had to do the same this year.
But after last year's incident in which one of the F-16s had to make an emergency landing in Loveland due to a hydraulic leak, spilling fluids across the runway and forcing the rest of the team to divert across Denver International Airport airspace and land at Buckley Space Force Base, the team determined it was too risky to fly without an approved emergency landing airfield nearby.
“The closure of the large runway in Cheyenne is a key factor in this decision," said Col. Catherine Barrington, 90th Missile Wing Commander. "After much discussion and consideration, canceling the show for 2023 is the best way to ensure the safety of our community and the Thunderbirds."
"While we are sad to discontinue our airshow, we understand the risk that comes with performing and are grateful to the Thunderbirds for their many years of support.”
"While disheartened to part with this important tradition, we hope to see a fully-constructed runway allowing our safe return to Wings Over Warren in the future," said Lt. Col. Justin Elliott, Thunderbird 1 and Team Commander/Leader.
The Thunderbirds also pulled out of Wings Over Warren in 2020 after a few of their team members tested positive for COVID-19, but that show still went on.